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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  June 17, 2010 2:00am-6:00am EDT

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liability limits, but nothing was ever done on that. >> limits were adjusted for inflation. and the coastguard's recent report, very much in line with our findings, that for certain vessel types, there is a disproportionate low relative to the historic spill costs. they stopped short of making recommendations as to how the limit should be adjusted. .
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corporation's view is, the ability to deduct from taxable u.s. income payments that result from civil claims. could you provide that for the record for us? >> i will definitely thank that action, sir. >> so obviously, even though this is 57th or 58th day, you still haven't sorted out the reliability issue to have various entities who were associated with the rig. is that a correct statement? >> what i can tell you is that
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what we have been focused on over the last 50-plus days is making sure that we got a claims process up and running and money into the hands of the folks on the gulf coast who needed it the most, the fishermen, the shrimpers, the people who needed it the most. >> i understand that. the answer i guess is no. mr. bent? have we made any progress in this that area? >> i want to identify who is liable for what? >> no. we expect them to sort it out in court if they don't agree how those payments came. >> do you have a deal on that? would you identify yourself? >> general counsel at g.a.l.. >> my name is hanna.
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lauf. we have been doing some investigations in this area but it is preliminary to really say anything for certain because there are a lot of legal implications to this and we have contacted m.m.s. and we're going to be looking at the lease to identify the names on the lease and that will help us make some determinations about responsible parties. but it is very preliminary to say anything at this point. >> do you have any preliminary conclusions? >> no. i don't. it is my understanding that they are partners but i really can't say more at this point. >> well, thank you. when you do, again, i hope you'll provide the committee with that. >> we definitely are working on that and will do that. >> when we're talking about the extent of the costs here, which we all know are unprecedented, i
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think that should be sorted out fairly quickly so that we can expedite the claims for all the reasons that i don't have to explain. i thank you very much. i thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i don't want to go back to this but whose responsibility is it to determine liability? is it g.a.o.'s? or the it coast guard? >> i believe we do it. my staff will -- >> determine liability and the percentage that the liability applies to which company? who derps percentage? >> we bill them all for all costs. >> i know but if b.p. says forget it. i i'm not paying anymore. who determines percentage? >> a judge will.
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a judge will decide. >> just for clarity. there is a couple of things i've got to ask. there is a -- there is about 51,000 claims plus 26,000 have been paid. in regards to this event as of june 14. does that sound about right? is there -- those noolings got paid, is there legal -- folks who got paid? is there legal recourse? >> nobody has -- most of those payments are interim payments for loss of wages. they can continue to get payments and continue to get -- make other claims as it goes on. >> ok. thank you. there is a whole bunch of information out there on b.p. and violations with osha and and
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previous incidents that have happened. can you tell me if there were any shortcuts that were taken because this project was overbudget? >> mr. tester, i'm actually over the claims process and that has been my focus for the last 50 days. i can answer any questions you might have about the claims process. >> maybe you can answer. >> transocean was hired to provide the ddilling rig and the people who operate the rigs and machinery. >> are you aware that this project was overbudget? >> i received a copy of the letter written by congressman waxman and stupak that made reference to the financial status of the project, yes. >> so it was overbudget? >> that was the inference in
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senator waxman's letter. >> the budget -- did the b.p. budget -- so i can't comment what the original budget was and i have no idea where they were with respect to that. >> ok. that is a different issue for b.p. could you tell me, i mean, there is all sorts of stuff out here that needs to be cleared up. for example, this by the way, wouldn't point a finger at you guys. well, it kind of would but not in a real, real bad way. there are inspectors out there. maybe this -- pay attention to this, too, mr. newman. there were inspectors. maybe mr. bennetts. i don't know. there were inspectors out there that have been told that were on fishing trips going l.s.u. games, college football games that were not doing their job. can you shed any light on that?
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>> i'm the claims guy. >> that's ok. i understand. >> mr. newman? can you shed any light on that? if you're drilling the well you know whether the people are doing their job or not. their conduct inspections of the drilling rigs and make notes and leave notes with our people that result from those inspections and that's, you know, that's the nature of the relationship between transocean and -- >> did they inspect your drilling rig? >> they were last on there on april 1. >> did they leave any notes? >> i don't know whether they left a visit report from the april 1 visit. i don't know. >> who would know? >> certainly somebody in our operations group would know the answer to that question. we can certainly provide that information back to the committee. >> if -- can you tell us what's on those notes? >> i can't today but --
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>> can you tell me when they get back? >> we'll make the results of those visits available. >> that would be great. miss fleming, we've got $20 billion, which seeps like a lot of doe in an escrow -- dough in an escrow account now with. ultimately we don't know what the extent of the damage is. in your expert opinion do you think it is going to be adequate? >> i think it is going to take months or years before we have a good sense of the total economic environmental impact to the gulf coast. so we don't know. i mean, i think, the devil is in the details how this will work. >> it is -- as long as you're going down that work, right now, the question they asked, the
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b.p. has claims processors on the ground now doing it. is it going to be b.p.'s claims processors that deals with this $20 billion escrow account? >> i don't know. we haven't looked in great denail this. >> these are the conversations that will be taking place over the next few days and weeks to work out the details how this process is actually going to be run. >> ok. are you going to have to have a -- -- for b.p. to have their claims processors or is b.p. going to allow a third party administrator to determine that? >> the primary concern we have is making sure that the resources are available the people bho who need the money get the money as quickly as they can and we'll work with the details around how and who are going to the actual underground
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management of the plans. how the underground management to have claims is going to work. >> ok. all right 3. one last question. i only have about 15 seconds left. you talked about an investigation. you can't talk about the investigation. you can talk about the claim process. can you tell me where they are at this the investigation? >> i cannot. i'm 100% focused on cutting checks for the folks at the gulf coast rmplet ok. sounds good. appreciate your commitment to that. appreciate all the people being here to testify today. this is one hell of a mess that we need to get our arms around ea and get cleaned up. thank you all for being here. >> thank you for being here.
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>> i spoke with the u.s. claims monitoring team. they are appointed by admiral allen. this team has been working hard to oversee b.p.'s claims processed on behalf to have federal government and the american people. it concerned us to find out the b.p. has not provided -- and the team, the entire claims database has requested, in fact, i'm told they requested this information over a week ago and without this information, we're told that they are unable to determine the extent of the claims or what the waiting period is for those who have asked for it, who need assistance. can you just share with us, if you know, why hasn't this data been provided to the government and can we expect it to be provided.
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>> mr. chairman, i can tell you i -- last wednesday with almurder in the third degree allen and it was a point of that conversation and on thursday, members from the integrated services team and from our claims team met via phone to talk about how and what data we need make sure was captured and incorporated. in addition, our software engineers worked over the weekend to reconfigure systems to make sure we can extract the appropriate data. some of that data we're already capturing. our c.e.o. this new data that we'll have to capture on monday of this week, i was in bulki, mississippi, with members of -- biloxi to get that completed
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asap. that work is underway. the teams are working closely together. . >> ok. you responded to the first half of the question. i appreciate that. the response to the second half of the question, when can we expect it to be provided as you're saying asap. >> i would expect within this week. >> thank you. a question, if i could both for you, one you can share with mr. bent. i understand that there are any claims denied by b.p. or haven't been handled within 90 days can go to the government's trust fund. i believe no claims have been denied to date, which really i find hard to believe. are you telling us that no one person has tried to take advantage of this system, that no one has put forth some sort of false claim, if they have can you provide with us some
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examples and tell us why they haven't been denied? >> so on -- what i can tell you is that we have not denied any claims to date. we've had thousands of claims put into the system. we have paid, as i mentioned in my testimony, $91 million worth of claims and no claim has been denied. we've got an variety of claims in the system. everything from boat captain to a deckhand to a waitress to a lawn man. and we're looking at everygame claim we get carefully and we are -- and we're being fair and reasonable and practical in our evaluation over the claims. i also can tell you, mr. chairman, that you're right, we have up to 90 dice pay a claim but so far from the time a person calls our 1-800 number to the time they receive a check once they provided us with a
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document that starts their income or loss, it is running about four days on average and for a business with a claim less than $5,000 it is running about six days. so we're working hard to make sure that the process is fair and expeditious. we have not denied any claims yet because i suspect with the number of claims in our system that there will be some denials but none have been denied to date. >> i just wanted to note for our ongoing work for you that we will be delve more into the claims process. however it is not unusual when you're dealing with large catastrophes such as hurricane katrina the likelihood of improper payments and claims can occur so it is really important that you have a framework in place so that you have reasonable insurance that will identify or dedetect proper payment and at the same time you need to balance that, the need
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to have that structure with the need to try make sure that your claims process is working effectively and efficiently so you have to have that balance but we are going to delve deeply into this. >> mr. bent. can you respond to this question? >> i've been asking b.p. as well. i would like to see some denials. i know there has got to be some. information that comes into us, we have a 1-800 number out there. it is communicated to claimants. interesting to note out of the 56,000 claims we've had 256 calls in the last five weeks. 210 were really not about claims but about people's opinions how the is going. we followed it up with the
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people that called. we have been able to reach about half of them. 20-40 people and work with b.p. to find out what the situation is. in most cases there is an incomplete claim. it would appear to us that b.p. is trying to -- get the right information in to understand how the process works before they deny. i had a conversation this morning with some of mr. willis' folks. i want to see some denials because certainly when we start getting claims as well the controls to make sure there is no abuse. i don't think it is an indication that they are not acting on it. they are just bending over backwards to make sure before they deny the claimant really did understand and have all of their ducks in a row. >> thanks for that clarification. back to the conversation i had this morning with the folks in the u.s. claims monitoring team earlier today. they told me of some concerns
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they had involving the lack of denials. we talked a little bit about this here. specifically they have -- there are reportors individual who is have come to b.p. with a claim that are being told that the claim -- told up front that the claim won't be covered so they never file it. some of these cases they might be claims that they are actually coverable stand so, we are not really getting an accurate picture of the claims being accepted or denied. people are hearing their claim is not coverable, they just don't make the claim. can v you heard of any such reports and to what extent do you think this might or might not be happening? >> i have not heard any reports like that. we have gone from zero to 33 claims offices from zero checks
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cut to thuzzes of checks cuts. that the process we put in place isn't pacific northwest. we have taken some steps to make sure people are aware that fraud is not going to be tolerated and posted signs in offices in english, vietnamese and spanish. the process isn't perfect but i have not heard of any incidents. anyone who feels like they have been damaged, have property that has been damaged or they feel like they have lost information or wages has a right to call our 1-800 number, go to our website or walk into any of those offices and file a claim and they should not be denied that right. >> one thing i would add in addition to my earlier comments is when we started announcing about the numbers of claims, it is really cases open.
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there has only been 27,000 paid. the question that comes to your mind must be the plans that have not been acted on. we're working with b.p. to get more transparency. what we're finding is that the claimants have not provided in some cases a dollar amount for their damages. they filed a claim. there has to be -- you have to say what the dollar amount was and document what the loss was. a certain number, i don't know what the percent of those claims are really, they are kind of -- a good example i know of is a hotel early on thought -- you got to get in early. the $75 million is going to run out. they called the claim center. they are full from responders. so they haven't suffered any loss yet but they are holding in case the spon winds down and they do suffer then they can submit a claim.
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that ticket is open on the book. >> ok. thanks. a question, if i could, both for miss fleming and for mr. bent. your testimony today, i don't know, the testimony of one of you, you state that b.p. may choose to pay a claim with less documentation would be required the obtain. i would like you to both take a moment and explore that comment a bit further. if that statement is true that b.p. is providing payments for claims the government wouldn't pay what might that mean for the independent trust fund and could this third party process, following the office's guidelines be less lib rap really a in its payments than b.p.? >> mr. chairman, i can first address that and we know that b.p. is paying for things that are not necessarily -- they are
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entertaining personal injury claims that are precluded and they are not bound to the same federal laws and if they want to pay a claim, they can pay the claim so they are leaning forward very hard. if people are harmed, it would appear that b.p. is being liberal, at least in some cases but i'm sure there are some people that are not happy in getting paid. we know there are some claims that probably couldn't be paid under o.p.a. >> do you want to comment on what mr. bennett has said? >> he gives more insight into the current claims process but it is my understanding that it is certainly within b.p.'s prerogative to pay beyond o.p.a. compensable costs but as i highlighted earlier, you know, b.p. has said they will pay for all legitimate claims, but if for some reason that changes they cannot and will not then the trust fund is threatened
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because we don't really know at this point the true costs. we don't know for many years or months to come. this bill still has not been containeded and we already know that the number keeps growing each day, each week in terms of the volume that's being spilled so this is obviously unprecedented spill and the costs could be in the billions, i think. >> ok. another question. for you, miss fleming? how does the deep water horizon spill compare with prior spills? sheer magnitude? >> i just highlighted a couple. it is my understanding more oil -- this has been the worst offshore platform spill in u.s. history. it still hasn't been contained. exxon valdez, to give some comparison, spilled about 11 million gallons and it took
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about $2.2 billion just to clean up. b.p. is at $1.6 billion in terms of recovery as well as damage claims so i think it is going to take many months and years to really have a sense of the true cost of this spill and the impact to the environment and economy in those areas. i don't think we still have a real good grasp but it is definitely unprecedented in the magnitude will drive these costs and as i said earlier in my opening remarks, there are so many factors besides the magnitude that are coming into play. so many species are affected in term t'wolves wildlife. it is the time of year when they migrate and they breed. it is an oil that is very toxic creates long-term contamination to the shores. all of these factors will
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influence and drive the cost of this spill. >> i think factors that can affect the costs of cleaning up an oil spill like this. how do these factors come into play in the deep water horizon spill? >> again, i think it is the location, the gulf coast community, it is an area that is proximity to about 36 wildlife refuges. it is at a time of year when many birds migrate. also the location and the time of year, it is already impacting the fishing and the tourism communities and the type of oil that is being spilled, it is a light, sweet crude oil, which is very highly toxic and has long-term contamination effects. and on top of it you have this unprecedented magnitude of oil and the fact that it still hasn't been contained.
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all of these factors be enter play and will ultimately impact in the final costs of this spill, which again, i think it is going to take us a long time to get there. >> how much was spilled in the valdez accident? >> it is my understanding that it was 11 million gallons. >> does that sound right? >> confirm. >> how much money was ultimately paid out? >> we have a better handle. my understanding is $2.2 billion for the cleanup costs, i'm not sure what the claims amount is. mr. bennett may have a better handle and i'm not sure if it is fully settled, quite frankly. exxon said $3.2 billion for claims and damage and response. we couldn't know the details because if they paid the bill and didn't submit a claim for any kind of limit. all we snow what they report.
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>> all right. so that was -- 11 million gallons. do you know what in interprets of the amount of oil that has leaked? how much we believe has leaked today? from the first day. now it is going to be enormous. somebody help me out in terms of comparing 11 million for valdez. where are we today with the meter still running? anybody know? all right. $3.5 billion from exxon valdez. was that everything all in? >> that's what has been reported by exxon according to our records? >> and they paid that? >> they paid that.
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>> exxon reimbursed the federal government for the costs. >> that was about 20 years ago. most people are saying more this time. maybe in more fragile areas of our country. miss fleming. you're welcome to respond if you like. do you find comfort in $20 billion seems like a lot of money. what is your first reaction? that is enough? that ought to be enough? do you have any thoughts? >> i think when we're dealing with such unprecedented spills, it is likely to have catastrophic consequences. all options need to be considered. i think that anything that will both make the communities whole and at the same time try preserve the viability of the trust fund is certainly a step in the right direction but i
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would say that it is going to be important the details how it is implemented. i think that the legal structure in terms of the laws and regulations and whether or not the liabilities are impacted. all of these things are still questions that need to be addressed and answered. how this new process will interact with the existing process that is in place that b.p. has established. i think these are all questions that have to be explored and addressed. >> over the last 19 years, since the national pollution fund center -- there has been over 11,000 spills that have accessed the fund. every single one of those, there was a defined amount. every single one of those, there was an event and a spill. this is unprecedented because we're still in the middle of the spill. it is still spilling.
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this is more than an event. this is a cap. that is what makes it so different. it is unprecedented. i would say that the $20 billion that the president got in an agreement with b.p. is a very good insurance to the american people that b.p. intends to stay in this for the duration. whether it is enough or not i think is too early to tell. >> b.p. has promised i think since the beginning $75 million liability cap that we have been talking about here. that would essentially be irrelevant. with the discussions at the i guess yesterday and today, do you know if b.p. and the federal government entered into any kind of contractal groment this effect? >> i do not know. mr. newman. last month you filed a petition
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in federal court turned ship owners liability act to limit your liability for the deep water accident to $27 million. as the owner of this facility shouldn't you bear some more -- some additional responsibility greater for the cleaning up the damage that is being caused by the oil spill? we talked about a trust fund. $20 billion. b.p. and the other owners of the well would be assuming. your company suggested that your liability is limited to $27 million. >> if i can offer a couple of comments. first of all, the filing of the limitation of liability action was done as a result of two things. first of all, a direct instruction from our insurance underwriters to file that action and in terms of the company's ability to meet our obligations,
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the preservation of our insurance program is a vital asset of the company so we responded and applied with our insurance underwriters directive to file that limitation action and the second reason we filed the action was to consolidate all of the nonenvironmental claims, all of the numerous personal injury lawsuits being lodged against multiple venn use and different states. it serves to consolidate all of those nonenvironmental claims into one venue. two reasons we filed that. the number that the chairman trofede $the 27 million is a cal congratlations. -- calculation. that is an outcome of that calculation. >> all right. i'm not quick enough on my feet to be able to figure out what percent of $20 billion $27 million would be but that has
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got to be a small percentage. >> the liability applies to nonenvironmental claims so it is only in response to personal injury claims. the environmental claims are handled turned o. pambings process. -- o.p.a. process. >> i understand you have been pretty much in constant contact with b.p. claims officials since the whole process began? >> that is a fair statement. >> what instruction that is white house given you about how this newly created independent trust fund might interact with your office, with the current claims process being led by b.p.? >> mr. chairman, we're still working the details of that out. we don't have anything to say about that now. it was done at a pretty high
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level just in the last day or two. i think in the coming days we'll be working out to details. >> would you expect that process to start right away? >> i can't say. >> thank you. >> all right. mr. newman, if i could for you, please, i understand that transocean has jected a claim of -- from -- yesterday, as i understand it -- relieved a deprean liability when it cannot fulfill obligations because of natural and unavoidable catastrophes. could you go back and explain why they made this claim and why transocean rejected it? >> i believe, chairman that, anadark's claim would be in response to the administration's moratorium on deep water drilling in the gulf of mexico and because those are ongoing discussions between transocean
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and anadarko, i would prefer to let those conversations car through to their conclusion before i, you know, before i comment too freely on the current state of those conversations. >> all right. another question for you and then i have one for miss fleming and then maybe a closing statement. let me just say, one question i want to ask before we leave is just to ask each of you. you have heard your colleagues and this panel give their testimony. you heard them respond to the dwheas have been aked asked of them. i'm going ask each of you to give an opening statement. i'm going ask each of you to give a closing statement. any additional comments you would like to bring particularly in response you have heard others say or not say. be thinking about that, please. meanwhile, for mr. newman, i understand that state lawmakers both in louisiana, i think in
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mississippi, have invited officials from transocean to participate in hearings that they are holding to examine the spillsfects on residents in those states. i understand that transocean has declined to send any representatives to those hearings. i understand how busy you and your team have got to be right now, i appreciate very much you appearing before our subcommittee today. let me just ask why has transocean decided not to send representatives to those hearings and could you commit with us today to work with local law firms? >> chairman, we were unable to participate in the mississippi hearing and despite our niblet participate, we have been -- inability to participate and we have been -- provided them with the same documentation that we have provided to the federal administration and to congress. that we have a representative
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who is attending the louisiana hearing, which i believe is taking place tomorrow. we are able to participate in the louisiana hearing. we were unable to participate in mississippi. >> i appreciate you being here today. you have somebody at the louisiana hearing? >> we will have somebody. >> i'm sure they appreciate that in louisiana. i would urge you to continue with to work with the local folks to provide the answers that they are seeking. finally a question for miss fleming. how does the deep water horizon spill -- we have beat than one enough. i'll ask you, is reflect back on the conversation we've had here today. the questions have been asked. the similar responses given. maybe some of the questions not asked. make some short, closing thoughts for us.
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>> i think we have covered the fact that we are dealing with a spill. >> let me just interrupt. >> for you especially. maybe a question that should have been answered. maybe a question that my colleagues and i should have asked but didn't. ask sf you could think of that, that would be good too. go ahead. >> sure. i think we basically have covered the fact that we are 3 unprecedented in nature. it is clear that it is going to take many years to have a real good sense of the cost. we already have determined that it is probably going to be a greater magnitude than we have seen in history. the fund is in place. the trust fund is in place to cover liability costs for parties responsible that can be identified or cannot pay costs. i think the concern is while we have heard and b.p. continues to say that it will honor and pay
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all legitimate claims, the $20 billion escrow account is certainly a step that can be a vehicle for that and to try to make the communities whole. for some reason, i think the threat -- the trust fund is threatened or could be threatened and that obviously comes into play in terms of future spills or even being able to pay the claims from the 2007 san francisco spill and others. >> thanks. >> any closing thoughts you would like to leave us with? >> i would like to say that the coast guard and all of our federal partners and state and county and various partners is unrelenting. i spent four days on the gulf. the work is phenomenal. we know the american people are not happy. we know that not everybody feels they have been treated well. the commander allen is moving heaven and earth to respond to these things and get answers to questions that people have. we know we owe it to the
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american public and we're doing what we can to do that. >> mr. new nanman? closing thoughts. >> the closing thought i would like to leave is the way business is constructed on the outer continental shelf is pretty fundamental. it is a result of historical industry practice and it is a result of the contractal relationships between parties. if you think about the process that the well owner goes flu identifying and securing the lease through an arrangement with the federal government, in developing an exploration program for that lease in designing a well or wells to -pcarry out that exploreation program in hiring a number of subcontractors to help them execute that well design and then benefiting from the -- you know, assessing the commercial quantity of hydrocarbons in those wells and benefiting from the production of those
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hydrocarbons, all of that chris a process of ownership and control for the well owner. and the well owner dearrives all the benefits from that ownership and control. so in terms of establishing that framework as it applies to liability, i think it is appropriate for the well owner, who derives benefits from the production and also bears risk if those hydrocarbons are released into the virmente inat vertantly. >> -- inadvertently. >> i'm here as a representative of b.p. and of the gulf coast. as much as b.p. is counting on me, the members and since the of the gulf coast are counting on me as well. we said from the beginning that we would do the right thing and i'm confident that we will. we have an obligation to pay for the damage that has been caused by this spill and we will. and we are serious and we have to continue to demonstrate a
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serioustons the response that we have on the way in the gulf of mexico. hopefully things like to grants given to the states, $75 million, $70 million for tourism. today they announced a $20 billion escrow fund, we are demonstrating our serioustons fixing the challenges that have been created. we will do the right thing. we will do the right thing not only because it is the right thing to do but because the folks of the gulf coast are counting on us to do the right thing and we realize at the end of the day, your company will be judged by how we respond to this spill. >> i expect you're right. the core values that i've tried to instill in any organization i've been with, whether it is the united states navy or state government or federal government, really four folede, figure out the right thing to do and just do it and treat other
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people the way we would want to be treated if we were in their place and the third is really to focus on excellence. if itn't perfect, make it better. i know everything i do i can do better and just don't give up. i think those pretty good core values to bring to bear for this catastrophe that we face and are dealing with in the gulf of mexico today. we have sadly, in this country, an enormous dependence on foreign oil. we have about, oh, gosh, about 60% of our oil that we consume in this country comes from other places around the world. some of it from unstable nations, undemocratic nations. i fear as we fill up our gas tanks that we end up sending money to some places, some people, some -- mahmoud
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ahmadinejad in iran and chavez in venezuela. i'm convinced some of these countriee use our money to hurt us. if it were so easy to recover oil we would have done that. a lot of of it is in hard-to-reach places as we found out. the deep water horizon spill. not just danger, but calamity and disaster. we have to be smarter than this. i realize we're going to be dependent on petroleum in this country for sometime but i hope, if nothing else, that we will use this awful experience to do what einstein encouraged when he said in adversity lies opportunity. in the midst of all of this defined the opportunity not just to stand up and meet your obligations as i think mr. willis you're able to do on behalf of b.p. but we will find a way to move
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away from our dependence on fossil fuels and petroleum. especially these unstable countries around the world. we'll find some opportunity in a way to move our economy in a new direction. there is that opportunity. we just have to be smart. we need to seize the day. first we have to get through this day. through these days and weeks and months and in a way that gives the -- not just the people in the gulf of mexico but the people of this country, the satisfaction that our best has been done and will continue to be done on behalf of those who have been harmed and we do our best to make sure this doesn't happen again. thanks to each of you for joining us today for your testimony, for your responses to our questions. members of our committee will want to ask questions for the record, they will have that opportunity. they have two weeks to submit
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those questions. we will ask for your responses. again, our thanks. with that, this hearing is adjourned. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> tomorrow, the c.e.o. of b.p., tony hayward is on capitol hill to testify about his company's response to the gulf of mexico oil spill. he'll be at the house subcommittee on oversight and
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investigations. you can watch it live on c-span 3 and beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. for more information about the gulf of mexico oil spill and to watch any of the c-span video on the topic, visit our special oil spill website where you'll find dozens of congressional hearings on the oil spill. it is available now at next on c-span, defense secretary robert gates testifies on capitol hill about the defense budget. then members of the senate armed services committee question general david petraeus about the war in afghanistan and later, president obama's meeting at the white house with b.p. executives. >> from tomorrow's -- on tomorrow owes "washington
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journal," joe wilson and a talk with kathy castor about the gulf oil spill and david michaels on protecting the safety of those working in the clean-up effort. >> this weekend on c pan 2's book tv. growing up between arabs and israelis. charles bowden. and on afterwards vietnam veteran on the novel that took him to 30 years to public. matterhorn. find the entire weekend schedule at and join us on twitter. more than 30,000 viewers already have. >> defense secretary robert gates and joint chief of staff chairman were on capitol hill today to talk about next year's
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defense budget. president obama is requesting $708 billion for the next fiscal year. it is the largest defense department budget request since world war ii after adjusting for inflation. members also asked questions about military operations in iraq. we begin with questions by texas senator kay bailey hutchison. this part of the hearing is about an hour. >> senator hutchison, i think you were -- you're next and then senator specter. we're going to try to recognize folks in the order in which they came in. actually senator murray. senator hutchison? you may proceed. >> thank you. >> then i'll call on -- >> mr. chairman, thank you. i want to thank all you've foring into her. mr. chairman, we have talked about your mission to try to lower the defense budget and
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you're looking for places to cut and i'm hoping that i can expand on in this the near future with you. here are some of the concerns that i've seen. are some of the concerns that i have seen as the ranking member and former chairman of the military construction subcommittee. we have had a strategy. after we saw the deployment problems that we had when we were going into iraq out of germany. and also, as we were looking at the training constraints in germany and other parts of the world where we are. so, we have hd a strategy and this gives you an idea of the chart on build up in the united states, starting in fy06. we built up heavily in 09 and 10 to try to bring our troops home from germany and some from korea , to be able to train and
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deploy where we had complete control. but, now i am oking at the 2011 budget request for germany, and it is $500 million, and a greater concern is-- this is the mill con in germany for the next five years, and we are looking at $3.5 billion in the next five years in germany. now, i am concerned that we are duplicating efforts, and let me just give you an example in germany. the european command and the african command are headquartered in safeguard and yet the army is now coming into request $91 million for it facility, plus a new battle command center for $120 million, so the army is going to a separate location, when we are ready seem to have our resources
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consolidated and supercar. that german building requirements are higher, and get germany has only, over the past 13 years, contributed approximately 7%. the building requiremes in germany, and then you look at the effort that is being made by germany and afghanistan right now, approximately 4000 troops out of approximately 100,000 in afghanistan. i guess i am just looking at the potential for savings and consolidation and efficiencies in military constructions and i am asking you if that has been a factor in your decisions, if you have looked at this plan for $3.5 billion in germany and what is the thinking behind that
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ended necessary to do that much when we have had a strategy of building up an americana and applying wher we wouldn't have deployment problems as we saw going into iraq? >> i will have to ask e army to come up and brief you on the details and the justification of their specific programs. i would say more broadly that the path that we have been on was the path on global posture review that was established by the bush administration. one of the outgrowths of the quadrennial defense defense review was a request to revisit that issue by the obama administration and we are in the process of doing that this year in terms of our presence, not just in germany but elsewhere around the world. the conclusions of that stu and whatever decisions the president makes on that will
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obviously significantly impact the kind of programs that you are describing. >> when you are looking at budgetary matters, and when the commanders in the field are making these requests, do you look at the effort made by the host country? i look fo instance at the comparison to what germany has done to japan, which has been above 90% and effort to help offset our costs, and germany has asked us to stay in many plac. so, is that a focus that the department makes in general? >> it certainly is a consideration. >> i hope-- i mean there are also concerns in korea and i hope to be able to maybe give you some thoughts that i have been perhaps work with you to
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see if we can see-- be more efficient with the military construction site in the future. >> thank you senator. we are established under senator inouye's world that we recognize senators in order in which they came into the hearing and this is the list we have had. senator leahy was here early and had to leave but he is back now. senator murray is next, senator dorgan, senator feinstein, senator specter and senator bennett. that is the list in order mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, if we could have another engagement. i am hpy to go after him on that list. >> i was going to recognize senator leahy. senator leahy. >> thank you. secretary, admiral mullen, always good to see you and
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incidentally i appreciate the fact that both of you have always been available for questions by myself and other members of the committee. let me ask you a little bit about afghanistan. we all want to see al qaeda and taliban defeated but i worry about our clear, achievable goals there. i supported 10 years agonow going into afghanistan. i did not support going into iraq because i saw it is no threat to the united states. secretary, you said last january we weren't trying to make afghanistan and central asia's ohio love that right now we have top officials in kal did not have the confidence or respect to thefghan people and they seem to be making common cause of a lot of people we are
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fighting. we have committed so much, so much money here, and we have neglected so many things inside the borders of the united states we see china and now others developing green tech allergy, creating jobs, exporting elsewhere. we see a number of other countries that don't have the burdens of afghanistan. iraq is using the money to develop economic juggernauts, which could create huge problems for us in the future. we have 1000 brave members of the vermont national guard there and i want to thank you publicly admiral mullen for coming up in speaking to them. it was the highlight for them, the fact that you did. so, how do you see it? what is our endgame?
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>> well, first of all, i think one of the results of very detailed analytical effort and policy consideration effort of the administration last fall was in fact to clarify our goals, and our goal is to ensure that afghanistan is not a place from which attacks can be launched on the united states again, and in a nutshell, the strategy ito reverse the momentum of the taliban, to deny them control of populated areas, to degrade their capabilities to the point where the afghan security forces can take care of them, and the afghans are ahead of pace in terms of building both the police and the army. we still are dealing with quality issues, but we are making headway.
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we are making progress on trainers. the percentage of trainers to trainees has gone from about one to 821230, and a lot afghans -- i read a lot of the press about corruption and so on and so forth but the reality is there are ministers in kabul doing their jobs and their afghan soldiers and police out there who are dying in even greater numbers than we are fighting for their country. >> i met a number of those ministers and i have a great deal of confidence in them but do you have confidence in the adership? >> first of all from my own conversations with president karzai, i think that he is embracing his responsibilities for this, for this conflict in his country. his visit to kandahar just a few days that the admiral referred to us very important in terms of helping set the stage iv the
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continuaon of the campaign there. so i think that we have some clear-- we have clear goals. i think frankly the narrative over the last week or so, possibly because of the higher casualties and other factors, have been too negative. i think th we are regaining the initiative. i think that we are making headway but the thing that i would say, two other points i would make senator. one is, people need to remember we have only been out this new strategy for about four and a half months. we don't even have all the surge troops in afghanistan. >> could i ask you, before my time runs out, is that leahy lobbied ilemented in both afghanistan and pakistan? >> we are working to ensure that the leahy law is being implemented in both places and we could discuss it further with you in a closed session.
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>> i suspect it will require a closed session but i just think that because, i discussed it with you privately as well as with the addiral and it is something that-- it is more than just a talking point with me. >> we understand that fully senator and it is with us as well. and i would just add one more point to the earier point you made. there is no doubt that these wars have cost the american taxpayers a lot of money. as the chairman said at the outset, close to reach billion llars. that said in terms of our international competitiveness, in terms of our overall economy it is worth keeping the perspective that at about four to 4.5% of gdp, we are spending less on defense did then during any other wartime in our history, and it is a level that certainly is sustainable. >> thank you are a much
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mr. secretary. senator murray. >> mr. chairma senator specter came in while i was voting it does have a previous commitment and i agreed he could go ahead of me if that is all right with you. >> senator specter. >> thank you mr. chairman. secretary gates, an article in "the new york times" on april 17 of this year quotes sources on a confidential memorandum written by you, according to a times article, which relevant considerations on dealing with iran'sfforts to develop a nuclear weapon to contain that
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effort. general john abizaid has some time before, talked about such containment as an option, and i think we would all vastly preferred not to say iraq develop a nuclear weapon is unacceptable. there has been talk about alternative forces but those efforts are not successful. what would the broad parameters. >> should be option be coidered for containment? >> first of all senator specter, i would tell you that contrary to the news account, the memorandum that i did earlier this year did not discuss either by name or in concept anything about containment.
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and, my answer to your question would be, is that i think we have a strategy and our view is that it is unacceptable for iran to have nuear weapons, and we are proceeding on that basis. >> mr. secretary, when you testified back on march 21 of this year, i propounded a series of four questions and asked that they be responded to for the record, and as yet, i have not had a response. let me ask you at this time one of the questions which i had propounded.
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that related to a statement by general petraeus to the effect that the israeli-palestinian conflict commenced anti-american sentiment due to a perception of u.s. favoritism towards israel, and his comment embraced the idea that a failure to resolve the conflict had begun to imperil america-- american lves which is obviously a very serious consequence. but basis, if you know, did general petraeus have in making this or is there any indication that that state and is factually correct? >> first of all, if you have not received the answers to your questions by march i apologize for that and we'll find out why.
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my recollection, and i would defer to the chairman because he may remember better than i do, i do not think that that isn't that what general petraeus said. i think that our view is, it is clear that a middle east peace settlement between israel and palestinians would enhance our diplomatic and other efforts in the region, and would enhance our own security, because that dispute is used by our adversaries against us but i don't know of any evidence that the failure to arrive at a middle east peace solution hasn't that put american military lives at risk. >> nor do i, senator. i think the secretary has it exactly right. >> secretary gates, in an interview with cnn back on april 29 of 2009, you had
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commented that you think you thought our policy was sometimes too arrogant, and one of the concerns that i have had as we have been dealing with iran have never been able to establish real a dialogue. for some te, a number of senators try to have interparliamentary exchanges. in 2007, senators biden, hayden and i-- got back a response. that have been discussed with president bush at that time and had no objection. a response from the iranians that they liked the tone of our letter but were not yet ready to talk, and the question i have is , with your comment about u.s. arroganc is there any way we
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might use what president bush had talked about starting his administration a little more humility and i think president obama certainly withdrew any effort to have preconditions like stopping the enrichment of uranium before you talk about the subject. any way to modify or dealings with iran which might produce some better results? >> senator every unid states president since the iranian revolution has reached out to the iranians. i was present at at the first outreach and at the end of october, 1979, when dr. brzezinski met with the leadership of the iranian government, prime minister, defense minister, foreign minister basically said we accept your revolution-- resolution. we will sell you all the weapons that we contracted to sell the shah and they said give us the
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shah. three days later aer that meeting, our embassy was seized in two weeks later all three of those people were out of power. every subsequent president has reached out to the iranians. no president more sincerely and with greater effort than president obama. this is one case where i don't think-- where i think the arrogance frankly has been on the other side of the table, not on the american side of the table. >> thank you for yielding and thank you mr. chairman. >> senator murray. >> thank you very much mr. airman and thank you to all of you. i want to start with you because as you well know among the troops serving us in afghanistan today many ae in fort lewis in my home state during the frontlines of the stryker brigade and they have suffered tremendous losses this year and with increasing taliban offensive operations every day, families across my state are picking up a paper almost every morning now and reading about more.
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i am committed to giving our servemembers every research they need to bring a quick and decisive end to the taliban and the other insurgent forces but i am very concerned about the increasing number of casualties, but also work concerned about the reports we have not solidified our gains in march in southern afghanistan despite the tremendous sacrifice their servicemembers and their families. i wanted to ask you today what you can share with us or give us some insurance that marjah and our operations in southern afghanistan are a success? >> let me address it and then asked the chairman to do so as well. first of all, we made very clear at the very outset many months ago that this summer would see increased casualties. as our military and our coalitiopartners move into areas that have been controlled by the taliban for the last two
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or three years it was inevitable that there would be increased casualties, tragic but inevitable and we have warned about this from the very beginning. the reality is that the military operations in marjah were successful, and a place that have been controlled by the taliban is no longer afford to years or more, is no longer controlled by the taliban. getting the civilian coalition and afghan forces in there, the civilian officials, building the development program is moving forward but it is moving slower than we originally anticipated, so i would say, as i indicated earlier, i think we are moving in the right direction. i just met with general mcchrystal in brussels last week and i would tell you the general view of all of the alliance defense ministers was that we are moving in the right direction. we do now have all of the
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elements for success in place. this is going to be a long and a hard fight in general mcchrystal is condense confident that he will be able to show that we have got the right strategy and we we are making progress by the end of this year. but this is not something where week to week or month to month you can be able to say we re moving the front forward. that is not the kind of fight this is. >> progress in marjah bam is slow and steady and we see indicators all the time where bazaars aruba and where there were none before and as the secretary said this was a place run by the taliban for the last several years. they are still there and intimidating and they recognize that, but they are fundamentally, they have been displaced, but they certainly haven't been defeated in that particular area. we see an increase in the number of teachers who are there. there are some 80 plus teachers they are and squirrels are open
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where they were no this is a very tough fight, but we see steady progress. an increase in the number of local government of afghanistan employees from in the 40s a few weeks ago to over 60 now. so we recognize the significance of it. we wreck denies the challenge of it and it is going to take some time. we see an expanded rule of law taking place there. it is very gradual. this is a very very tough undertaking and it is going to take some time and i would not ask routinely, when will it be-- when will we be successful in marjah specifically and it is hard to say that, but all e indicators are moving in the right direction as tough as it is. >> i have another question for secretary gates. i think all of us are watching this very closely and especially those of us that are seeing this
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in our home states and the soldiers we represent so we will stay in touch. i did want to ask secretary gates about a topic we have discussed many times and that is the tanker competition. yoknow my concern about the fact that the wto has said that there will illegal subsidies on the a 33 airbus but i heard you say in their opening remarks that the president would veto any appropriations with the c-17 production line, and i am very concerned if this is awarded to airbus, that we would have absolutely no life by the military aircraft production left in our country, leaving us very vulnerable in the future. does the dod have any plans to address the potential loss of u.s. capability? >> first of all, if they advocated in response to senator bond earlier we expect to have
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the c-17 with us for decades, probably 40 years or more. there is significant wide body aircraft production capabilit and begin a and we have more than enough time to adjust it to a military production line if we need . >> and the production capability and ongoing engineering design manufacturing? >> sure, if you have wide body engineering and capability for commercial purposes it can be adapted for military purposes. >> my time is up mr. chairman. thank you. >> admiral mullen, the defense department i understand has suggested that continuing the ddg 1000 destroyer program is essential to our national security interest. one of the reasons i understaad for those is a determination that there is an important need in maintaining a national ship building capability.
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what suggestions do you have for strategies do you have that will address concerns about our ability to meet our current and future national security needs in the area of the ship building? >> as i indicated in my opening statemensenator cochran, i think being able to produce the number of ships that we need for our navy is at a critical imperative for our future security and that we have an industrial base that obviously supports that. the onlylay in the many years that i have been involved in ship tlting in particular, the only way i have ever seen it come close to succes is to reach that sort of strategic partnership that i indicated before between the industry-- obviously you want to hell the administration. and it has got to be affordable. i mean one of the challenges
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that we had with the ddg 1000 program like to many is wee@ started and the cost just absolutely skyrocketed. it essentially does itself in. and i don't know any other way to get at that except that kind of strategic partnership which together addresses the major challenges both in acquisition, in transition from one ship class to another. the challenges that obviously exist in spyards in your home state as well as where we have additional shipyards, how do we inject the technology over time, and how do we sustain that capability over time and it takes a long time to build as well as expected to be around 430 to 40 years depending on the ship you are talking about. i think it is absolutely vital that we have hat base budget has got to be at an affordable level. >> mr. secretary, there are some
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political uncertainty surrounding the new government in iraq and we know that here has been violence and there probably will be more violence. my question is, will the delays that are being observed in establishing a new government affects the drawdown of u.s. forces? are we going to be forced to dangerous signs of inability to change our plans and strategy of how to deal with the situation there? >> the short answer senator cochran is no. the truth of the matter is the election trajectory in iraq is basically going pretty much as had been predicted. we figured it would take several months for them to form a government after the election. an important hurdle in terms of general general odierno's confidence was the certification
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of the election last week. the council cotable of representatives convened this la monday and that against the process of the formation of the government, so the violencwe have seen it has really been al qaeda in iraq violence aimed at promoting or proki sectarian conflict and sectarian violence and one of the good news stories out of iraq is that that effort on their part has completely failed. these guys are doing politics and i would just say, comg out of the nato summit and i probably shouldn't say this but i was intrigued with the ct that we hve a new dutch government information and they anticipate it is going to take about four months to put the dutch government together so these coalition gernments are too easy even in established countries. >> admiral mullen what is your assessment of the iraq security forces and the capability of effectively managing the
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security challenges? >> maybe i should use a vignette to speak to that. recently, when two of the top al qaeda leaders, al qaeda iraq leaders were killed, that is te iraqi security forces were very much iolved in that and every time i both either see or ask about this issue, they are in the lead, and there is a great confidence in them, particularly their ground forces. we are working through their naval capability and we are working to evolve their aviation capability but ty have been particularly strong. what general odierno will also speak to whats, he was taken back a little bit by they way they see this requirement. en we came out of the cities a year ago last june, their country, a lot of pride in what they doand they really have
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stepped up and made a difference. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman thank you very much. welcome. mr. secrety, senator cochran i think asked in his rhetorically in his opening statement about the supplemental. i think we were told earlier that the supplemental had to be completed by memorial day. it was of course not and the senate has completed it at what is t date by which you are not able to make the payments you need to make in terms of getting the supplemental south? >> i hadoped that it would be done by morial day. we began to have to do stupid things if the supplemental is an pass by the fourth of july recess. we will have to begin planning the money that we have and the overseas contingency fund for the navy and marine corps will begin to run out in july.
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we will then turn to owen them money and the base budget for them, causing us to disrupt other programs. the army comes along a lile behind that, and we have reach a point, so we began to have to do disruptive planning and disruptive action beginning in july. we could reach a point in august , in early to mid-august, where we actually could be in a position where the money that we have available to us in the base budget runs out and we could have a situation where we are furlough wing civilians and where we have acted duty military. >> mr. secretary, you mentioned a startling statisc. you talk to think about the joint strike fighter in a plant
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where it takes 7% of the plant in the government was being charged 80% of the all-- overhead. i am sorry, 6% of the flr space and yet you are being charged 70% of the overhead. how does that happen in by the way i think all members of the senate decide you are going to make people accountable for bad management practices and we e going to incentivize in law good management. did you find that out and check out who on earth made that decision? >> unfortunately senator, i think there are been a lot of bad decisions along these lines in terms of contracting and in terms of our acquisition process, and so the acquisition, the bill that was passed tier of the president signed into law is an important aspect but at the end of the day what is really required is people who can execute a program efficiently
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and with a very sharp pencil for the taxpayer. i don't think we have had a sharp enough pencil lead in some cases i don't think we hve had sharp enough managers. i think we are trying to more professionalize our acquisition workforce now, where we are substituting career civil service who have these skills for contractors to do in man cases have been doing it, but we just have to be a lot smarter and a lot tougher and a lot more effective in our execution of e program and as you suggested and hold people accountable. >> the work you are doing on contracting is so important. to use the term dumb for anyone who would say yeah our program is 7% or 6% of the floor space we are willing to ante up 7% of the overhead. i mean that is just dumb for somebody to do that and i applaud what you are trying to do to establish accountability.
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i want to ask about afghanistan because i am nervous and worried about that which has been written recently, and i think also acknowledge by some the persistent violence ound marjah, the issue of the taliban in kandahar and general mcchrystal saying this is going to happen more slowly than we originally anticipated. as they look at that and i wonder you know, what are the cost of that in terms of soldiers lives and money and so on, and then i also wonder aside from marjah and kandahar, do we ever expect to control the tribal regions of afghanistan? as i look at that i am becoming more and more nervous about the july 2 thousand 11 date by which the president talked about bringing troops out. so give me your assessment. we are reading these things and
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seem less optimistic and seemed to suggest things are going as they expected. >>ettuce boat take a crack at it briefly. first of all, i think that we have, i think general mcchrystal has finally put in place a strategy that can be successful in afghanistan. we have the access arriving on the ground that will allow us to be successful. we still have a third of the troops yet to arrive better part of the surge, so we are only a few months into the execution of the president's new policy, and i must tell you i have a certain sense of déjà vu, because i was sitting here getting the same kind of questions about iraq in june of 2011, when we had just barely gotten the surge forces into iraq at that point. this is not-- this is not some kind of production program or something, where you have, you
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are going to meet these particular objectives this week and next week. the chairman is saying this is a process. we think we have theight assets, we have the right strategy, we have the right leadership and most of our allies and partners share our view that things are heading in the right direction and that b. will be able to show clear progress and that we are on the right track by the end of this year. but, this is not something where we do ourselves any favors by tearing ourselves up by the roots every week to see if we are growing. this is a process and it is going to be ng and hard but we are headed in the right direction. >> mr. secretary i was actually quoting general mcchrystal when he said this would happen more slowly than we original thought. >> what he is talking about is the time as we have shaped-- would general mcchrystal has also tried to make clear is this is not going to be a traditional military campaign in kandahar.
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there is a huge political nd economic component to this and the shaping of the political environment, as they had real success in doing that for marjah , is very important in kandahar and that is what he is talking about is going to take a little more time than he anticipated. >> i would echo what the secretary said. from what i've seen enciling my interaction with general petraeus and general mcchrystal senator, and i mean we all have angst about this, but we have got tremendous leadership team. we have put the resources in and it is a very, it very difficult counterinsurgency and as i said in my opening statement and as i've said before i thi kandahar's the center of gravity for this. i think we will know by the end of the year obviously where we are with respect to reversing the momentum and that is one of the key objectives here. what i'm concerned about and i
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know people are focused on july 2011, we all are in away that we are just not going to know until we get much closer to july 2011, how many troops and where they will come from, the case then the place. .. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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mr. secretary, thank you again foyour service. i thk you've been terrific, and i know how hard it is, so thank you very much. the question i wanted to ask, one on afghanistan and one on china. let me take china first. things like here are eurocentric. out west, we look west, and for 30 years now, i've been going back and forth to china and trying to do what i can to build and improve relationships. i spent the last week their meeting with a lot of the leadership and came away with a very different view of what is happening and i wanted to talk with you about it. i shared with them my dismay over door being turned down to meet with your counterpart, and what came back for arms sales to taiwan. now, the impression i had from our government before i wen was the chinese expect this and they are not going to be very upset.
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in fact, they were very upset. and the way they have of showing it is a refusal of military and military contact in my view at a time when the chinese military is expanding strategically in a very critical and concerning the way. and i think that everything we do we subscribe to the one that china policy. everything we do should be to minimize conflict in the streets. we met with president joe. he is headed for a constructive relationship. he's about to sign an economic framework agreement with the mainland, and i think there is the opportunity to conider where we go if this across the street situation is stable. so my question to you is this
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colin code which significant action could china take to ease its military posture in the street in a manner that was substantial enough for you to consider or reconsider the future arms sales to taiwan; which are a substantial, and written and will continue to be a substantial irritant in my view? >> first of ll, senator, one of the points that i made in singapore with chinese military leaders in the audince was that our arms sales to taiwan are on the basis of the tie -- taiwan relations act that was passed at the time of normalization in the late 1970's. i think that -- and the have known that all along, and i was
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struck by an article in the local press in singapore following that session somebody asked one of the chinese generals were some chinese general, it may not have been onpresent, and you guys have known about these for decades. why all of a sudden are you raising such a stink about them? and the general response was we had to accept it whenwe were weak. we are no longer week. and bottom-line is the decision on the taiwan our sales is fundamentally a political decision. it is a decision mandated by the taiwan relations act, and it is a presidential decision. so this is not a decision that is up to the department of defense. it is a decision that is of to the political leadership of the united states in terms of what would be a requirement in order to change our approach with
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spect tothe execution of all or change the law if it is necessary. i don't know if that is required. but at this essentially a political decision and not one that we in the dod would take. but i will tell you the chinese, even though the president of taiwan has reached out in that relationship and looks pretty stable and we certainly applaud the growing links between taiwan and the people's republic, another piece of that is the extraordinary chinese deployment of all manner of cruise and ballistic missiles opposite taiwann the chinese side of the street. so that's a reality that goes along with the growing other links between the two. but as you say, our position, and i repeated in singapore, is we are opposed to the independence of taiwan. we stick with a feathery communue that have guided u.s.
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and chinese relationships for the last 30 plus years and we need to go forward. >> perhaps some of this i should discuss with you privately, but in my meting with some of the leadership it was mentioned that the -- china had offered to redeploy them. i understand the word redeploy isn't removed and a understand the nature of what is there and the number of rops; however, i think the most importanthing we can do right now is established as a military to military contact. and i discussed this with ed morrill willard, as a matter of fact as late as yesterday, and i think that he thinks this way as well. so i would just leave that with you. i think it is extraordinarily important that we find a way that our top flag officers can communicate with their.
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>> well, i would just say, senator, that i also believe those contacts are necessary, and not just sort of ship isits and the uniform officers talking with one another but from a policy standpoint and from a strategy standpoint. the point i have made in my whole speech in singapore, a good part of it was about the importance of military to military relationships between the two countries because my experience with the soviet union, i don't know if the strategic arms talks ever achieved much arms control. but the one thing i do know is over 25 year period, we gained a very good understanding of each other's approach and strategy when it can to nuclear weapons, nuclear strategy and so on, and i believe deeply that it helped avoid miscalculations and minderstandings. i have no interest in a military to military relationship where
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we basically get together and sing kumbaya all that i think having a relationship where we can talk about things that are really potentially dangerous and our relationship have all kinds of merit and i am a strong proponent of contact with the chinese military for that kind of a dialogue. >> thank you. i'm pleased to hear that. i think my time is up. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. secretary, mr. chairman, admiral, thank you for all of your service and the good work you do and all the hard work to do. i have stened with great interest to the uestions of my colleagu, and they have addressed all the major issues, anso i'm going to be a little bit parochial. senator murray talked about tankers, and senar cochran
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talked about ships. it will come as no surprise to i'm going to talk about solid rocket motors. and you are well aware that many of us are concerned with the solid rocket industrial base and the importance of sustaining that. and in the nuclear posture review i understand the quadrennial defense review recently published national security strategy testimonies and so one. dewaal underscored the need for the capabilities and stability of systems that rely on the solid rocket motors anrobust production industry. unfortunately, the administration's budget seems determined to go theother way. the other direction, and we will not and lose the industry, we will lose the skills that go with it. the industrial base is one thing, but when you really are talking about rocket sciensts,
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you lose them and they go elsewhere and would be impossible to reconstruct that. so lat year the congress directed the department to review and establish alan to sustain the solid rockets industrial base, and the plan was to be due june 1st. june 1st has come and gone. i understand the interim report is still in the development and the department is working towards delivering a final plan, quote, no earlier than the end of this fiscal year. i can take you to today's newspapers. th are talking about a continuing resolution at the end of this year to be followed at some undetermined moment an omnibus bill and this creates
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great uncertainty with respect to the solid rocket folks. so in the absence of an ficial recommendation regarding the delivery of solid rocket motor industrial base system and plans to you have any recommendations the u could offer now or anything you could share as to the fox the department may have in this area? and let me ask the admiral if he has anything on this. i would tell you that i am not aware of the status of this report and am not in a position to provide any recommendations frankly because i just don't know but i am happy to find out why this report is overdue and see if we can to bring it to conclusion. >> i'm less concerned with the june 1st date than on again with the idea that we all love is an interim report by the end of the
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fiscal year and this committee is going to have to take action before the end of the fiscal ye because it may very well be that the defense appropriations bill becomes the only one that escapes the omnibus and pass this on its own. i know the chairn hopes is not thca, anhope it is not the case with it. but there is always that possibility. >> what i can commit to this to try and get this report and its recommendations to use and you can make some timely decisions. >> okay. >> senator, i don't have any more background at this point. >> all right. that's fine. most disturbing to me and others who share my concern about this, this is not strictly a utah provoke you wish you is the lack of evidence, the complete lack of evidence that any
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coordination between nasa and the pentagon before undertaking the action to basically tell this industry, and do you have any reaction to that statement? we have discussed this in hearings before, but are you aware of anything that has been raised with the department of defense on behalf of maseth as they've decided unilaterally to shut down the creation of the solid rocket motors? >> i'm just not aware how much coordination there was, center, bui can certainly get an answer. >> think the implications for this are very serious. nasa, i think, is making a mistake. for nas purposes. i think the absence of solid rocket motors and nasas going to raise nasa's osts. to destroy the space program and
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a number of areas where i think it is important. but to go ahead on the decision without even talking to the pentagon in terms of the implications for the minuteman and other inhabitants in the defense department where your dependent on the solid rocket motor borders on the irresponsible. so anything you can share with us i would very much apreciate. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator feinstein. >> thank you very much, stir chairman, for allowing me this extra question. i very much appreciate it. secretary gates, chairman of something called the senate international caucus. the senate caucus on international drug control. we call that the drug caucus, and we are about to put out a report on afghanistan. i am very concerned the taliban is on its way to becoming a marco cartel, and i won't make the argument here, i'm not going
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to make it here. itwill be in our report. but i want to ask you about one specific thing. there are specially fitted units supported by united states personnel that have proven to be very effective at conducting counternarcotics operations all around the world. at this time, there are only 288 members of the nationa interdiction unit of the afghan counternarcotics police that have been vetted and work directly with the united states personnel. program managers have told the staff of the caucus an additional 250 vetted officers are needed for the unit based on the scope of the drug problems in afghanistan. and this would maximize the ratio of the united states matters to the afghan officers at the current staffing levels. the contact for training the afghan narcotics police is
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administered by the department of defense. my question to you is what you take a look at it and take a look at the possibility of adding 250 officers for this national interdiction unit? >> sure, we'll take a look at it. >> i appreciate that. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. i have a question, mr. secretary, that has been festering in this body. up until world war ii, we had a senior military officials with a full array of metals with generals and admirals and full of a signing documents to into the war. that is how we ended the war. what point would you say today it was over that we could leave?
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>> i think the war in afghanistan will and much as the war in iraq has ended and that is with a gradual transition from our being in the military le while the iraqi security forc were growing then partnering than the iraqi is in the lead and are drawing back the overwatch and strategic overwatch and now an advisory and assist role. at the same time that the political system starting fresh was being created and maturing and i think what you will see is the same kind of a gradual transition to where the afghans are in the lead and the security every enough that's what we are talking about when we talk about when we begin a process of
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transition t afghan control in the provinces. we are already talking about which ones of those will happen and can we do some of them beginning toward the end of the year or early next year. so as we did province by province in iraq i suspect that is the way that will however much people y debate how we got into iraq the outcome ended up at this point at least being ore positive than anybody could have dreamed three years ago. >> thank you for a much. >> i'm cautioned to say the iraq war is ending, not has ended. >> i realize no one can predict the signing of the document. admiral mullen, somalia most americans cannot point out on the map however the suggested is becoming a safe haven of al qaeda and other foreign fighters
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training ground cetera. are we going to get rid of them? >> chairman, the last couple of years i talk about concerns with respect to the growing safe havens and in fact an awful lot of focus on yemen and somalia specifically. and there is a al qaeda presence specifically in yen and right now which is very dangerous and growing and needs to continue to be addressed. there is certainly a terrorist safe haven in somalia and in terms of stability, it is a country that is certainly if not a field state is a borderline phill state and in fact there are -- there are camps where terrorists are trainee in somalia that we all need to be
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concerned about. so, and concerned about the fact that somalia continues to fester to use your word in a very negative way, a government that is struggling to cotrol under asult from organizations that are terrorist based and continue to be the home for the piracy network clearly which is a challenge in that part of the world. so i am extremely concerned about that and its continued ability to continue to grow in the future. the other ple where there is long term potential is number africa where al qaeda has a very strong link as well. while we focus on afghanistan and pakistan which is where the al qaeda leadership presides, it is the network which is still extremely dangerous and intent
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on executing the kind of potential attacks that result in detroit on christmas and recently in times square. >> mr. psychiatry and ed morrill mullen, thank you for your testimony this morning. >> mr. chairman, at the risk of prolonging the hearing, could i take just a moment to address the question to put to me in your opening statement? >>es, sir. >> first of all, one of the frustrations i have had ever since taking this job has been the department of defense is organized and structured to plan for the war but not wage war and the only way that i have been able that i found i have been able to get the kind of urgent action to create the mrap to get the additional intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance work to do to counter ied effort
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has been battling to get their %-e groups that you described in the task force's where i jeter them and essentially have all of the senior players both uniformed and civilian at the table. and to be able to force the kind of rapid action that has been necessary to support those in the field. in several of these areas, i think that the work hasreached a point where i think i can begin to take action to begin to return these efforts to their traditional where they would traditionally have a bureaucratic home. the mrap taskforce, the audience are, the counter ied task force to discourage her by general paxton and undersecretary carter never was intended to last more than another two or three months now.
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i think that in at least three of these areas that we will be able to move back towards the the traditional structure in the part of defense. but long term, it is a serious issue for the department and frankly one that i have not yet found the swer to in terms of how to give urgent action in an area supporting men and women in combat today that ranges across the entirety of the department both uniformed and civilian and the different defense agencies. with respect to the balance between future threats from your peers and others as opposed to the focus on your regular warfare, i would just remind the committee that if you took a broad look at our budget about 50% of our procurement budget is for what i would call long-term modernization programs that deal wi the country's about 40% is dual purpose like the c-17 and of the things we will use the matter what kind of conflict
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with iran and about 10% has actually been a regular or the kind of asymmetric moreair we've been talking about, so i think we have a very large number of programs in this budget that are aimed and in fact have of the pure command budget roughly aimed at the longer term or sophisticated threats thisountry will face in the future. thanks for the extra couple of minutes. >> senator feinstein. the reports as you indicated show that the chinese have been advancing the cyber activities, cruz and missiles. are we concerned? >> we are very concerned, mr. chairman. the growing capabilityf the chinese with anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles is of a real concern for the ny and for us. the cyber capability is very
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important. the antisatellite capability and pooential space denial capabilities are ofoncern to us. so there are a number of areas where the chinese modernization that are of concern ad frankly this is one of the reasons why i think havi a strategic dialogue to try to gain some understanding and have some frank talks about these concerns has merit. mae the admiral would like to add a word. >> i'm sorry, i'm right there. increasingly concerned, it is increasingly opaque and these dialogues are absolutely critical to try to understand each other. each time at least from my perspective each time it gets turned off it gets turned off by the chinese and we will go through a period of time we have no relationship. the sector talked earlier about iran and his experience in 1979
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and what that has led to as no lationship with a country for over three years. and look where we are. so if i use that as a model that is ertainly not one that we can afford as a country or as a military with china as china continues to go. china as a global power, all those things makes sense to me. one doesn't make sense to me is the fact they won't engage in the military won't engage. scaap once again, thank you for a much for the service to the nation. and we look forward to working with you in the coming months as we continue our review of the budget. and as you conduct your internal analysis of the military requirements, i would like to encourage you to share them with us so that we can be in step with you as we begin the work
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for the following year. we are having a few problems i think we can resolve them. i hope so. the subcommittee will reconvenes ofe dee dee to wednesday at 2:30 to hear testimony from the?
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as the committee resumes its hearing on the progress in afghanistan. undersector flournoy and general petraeus, let me reiterate this committee's great appreciation for your service, the sacrifices
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that you both and your families make, along the way. the demands of your positions are great. we carry out your duties professionally, and with excellence, so thanks to you both. general petraeus, you were more than willing, and more than able, to proceed yesterday morning. it was my abundance of caution that led me to adjourn the proceengs until this morning. before i turn to senator mccain, who still has a bit ofis time remaining, i understand that general petraeus has a short statement. >> well, thanks, mr. chairman, senator mccain, members of the committee. again, thank you for the opportunity for a redo hearing after i demonstrated yesterday the importance of following my first platoonsergeant's orders 35 years ago, to always stay hydrated. i'll try to remember that in the future. fact my team provided me this nifty camel back to help me remember it. i pointed out that the committee provides water, and i do thank
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the committee, as well, for the chocolate chip cookies that were in the anteroom before the session. if i could, mr. chairman, before the questioning sumes, i'd like to ensure that my answers to questions by you and senator mccain on the july 2011 date are very clear. as i noted yesterday, i did pport and agree at the end of the president's decision-making process last fall with the july 2011 date described by the president as the point at which a process begins to transition security tasks to afghan forces at a rate to be determined by conditions at the time. i also agreed with july 2011 as the date at which a responsible draw down of the surge forces is scheduled to begin at a rate, again, to be determined by the conditions at the time. as i noted yesterday, i did believe there was value in sending a message of urgency, july 2011, as well as the
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message the president was sending of commitment. that the additional substantial numbers of forces. but it is iortant that july 2011 be seen for what it is. the date when a process begins, based on conditions. not the date when the u.s. heads for the exit moreover, my agreement with the present's decisions w based on projections of conditions in july 2011, and needless to say, we're doing all that is humanly possible to achieve those conditions, and we appreciate the resources provided by congress to enable us to do that. of course, we will also conduct rigorous assessments throughout the year, and as we get closer to next summer, as we do periodically in any event, to determine where adjustments in our strategy are needed. and, as july 2011 approaches, i will provide my best military advice to the secretary, and to the president, on how i believe we should proceed based on the
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conditions at that time, and i will then support the president's decision. providing one's forthright advice is a sacred obligation military leaders have to our men and women in uniform, and i know that that is what the president expects, and wants his military leaders to provide, as well. beyond that, mr. chairman, in response to some of your questions yesterday, i want to be very clear, as well, that i fully recognize the importance of afghan security forces leading in operations. indeed, the formation of the nato training mission in afghanistan, the many initiatives it is pursuing and the vastly increased partnering ordered by general mcchrystal are intended to help the afghan forces achieve the capability to take the lead in operations. to that end, i think we should note that afghan forces are in the lead in kabul and in a number of other areas and missions. and they are very much in the fight throughout the country. so much so that their losses are typically several times.s.
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losses. in short, our afghan comrades on the ground are indeed sacrificing enormously for their country, as are, of course, our troopers, and those of our isaf partner nations. thank you. >> well, thank you very much, general. and i am glad to hear of your support for that july 201 beginning of u.s. troop reduction decision. since i continue to strongly believe that it is essential for success in afghanistan for everyone to understand the urgency for the afghans to take responsibility for their own security. now, this morning, after calling upon senator mccain to complete his questions, i'm going to be calling on senators for questions in the early bird order that was established yesterday morning, as i believe that we notified our -- all of our members' offices yesterday afternoon.
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senator mccain? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and we were interrupted probably at the most important point of my comments yesterday, general pet rayious, when i said i considered you one of america's greatest heroes. in case you missed that, i'll repeat it. >> it was overwhelming, sir. >> i still believe that with all my heart. and i appreciate the statement you just made, general petraeus, and i think it's very helpful and i hope that it's heard in the oval office and in the vice president's office. because your statement seems to contradict what the president of the united states continues to say, what his spokesperson said that july of 2011 was, quote, etched in stone. that, continues administration officials to be saying that july
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2011 will begin the withdrawal. according to what is probably trash journalism, vice press biden said in july of 2011, you're going to see a whole lot of people moving out, bet on it. so, it would be very helpful. your sentiments were shared by the president, the vice president, the president's national security adviser, and others. and right now, general, we are sounding an uncertain trumpet. to our friends, and our enemies. they believe that we are leaving as of july 2011. i could relate to you anecdotes all the way down to the tribal chiefton level in afghanistan. and they -- it seems to me that organizations and countries and
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leaders in the region are accommodating to vat eventuality and that does not bode well for success in afghanistan. so i guess it's more than a comment that i made -- an elaboration of the comment i made yesterday. if we sound an certain trumpet, not many will follow. and that's what's being sounded now. and that's one of the reasons why we see some of the events taking place that are in the region. not just confined to afghanistan. so i know that i've used up most of my time as chairman, maybe general petraeus would like to respond. >> senator, first of all, i think july 2011 is etched in stone, but, as i tried to explain it there as a date at which a process begins, that is based on conditions, nd that i think was explained clearly at the speech at west point by the
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president, which i was privileged to attend. beyond that, as i said yesterday, i don't think it's productive, obviously, to discuss journalistics accounts of oval office conversations based on second and third-hand sources. other than to say that i think it is important that folks should know that those are not a complete account. but i will leave it right there. what i have tried to explained today is my understanding of what july 2011 means. and how it is important, again, that people do realize, especially our partners, especially our comrades in arms in afghanistan, and in the region, that that is not the date when we look for the door, and try to turn off the light, but rather a date at which a process begins. and if i could, i'd like to ask the undersecretary, perhaps, if she wanted to provide some insights, having participated in the process, as well. >> thank you very much. i think general petraeus has characterized the date accurately.
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it is an inflection point. it is a point at which the end of the surge will be marked, and a process of transition that is conditions-based will begin. the president was very careful not to set a detailed time line of how many troops will come out at what point in time because he believes in a conditionssbased process. and he's said that over and over again. on the issue of whether or not afghans understand our commitment, i think one of the things that we did in the strategic dialogue we had recently with president karzai and 14 members of his cabinet was to focus on the long-term commitment of this country. to the afghaneople and to afghanistan's development. wealked about long-term security assistance, long-term commitment to build capacity, governance, development, and i think that everyone that walked away from that with no questions
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in their mind about the death, and enduring nature of the u.s. commitment t afghanistan. so i think that -- that has to be important context in which this conversation happens. >> thank you, madam secretary. we don't live in a vacuum here. i had conversations with him, as well. i've had conversations with leaders throughout afghanistan and the region, and that's not what they're telling me. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank y, senat mccain. senator lieberman? >> thanks, mr. president, and welcome back, general. it's great to see you looking good again. your recovery time was very impressive yesterday. i thoht it was at world cup levels. and the coach may want to add you to the team roster before slovenia later in the week.r le. i want to say at the outset that as you both said yesterday in your opening statement, in previous appearances before our committee, you've made clear
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at things would get worse before they got better in afghanistan. and unfortunately, that's exactly where we are now. but to me the important point here, and i want to go back to thatecember 1st speech by president obama at west point, we're talking about the deadline parts of it. i want to come back to that in a minute. but the president made a very strong case there, expressing his decision in afghanistan was vital national security interest of the united states, and if it -- if it went badly, the consequences for our security, american security, were disastrous. and to me, that's the -- that's the most important point. we know from previous experience that -- that counterinsurgencies take time. i think the key now is to make
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sure that we've got the right strategy, that it's sufficientn decisive force. and as important as anything else, that we give our war fighters, and the state department personnel on the ground, the time and patience to achieve the strategic national goal that we have in succeeding en in afghanistan. and that's -- i say that to us here in congress, as well as to the american people. general petraeus, i think an important part of that is the clarification you made just now about what the july 2011 date means. it's not a deadline for withdrawal. it's not a deadline by which we're going to pick up and go out. it's a goal. and i wanted to stress, as you did very clearly here today, notwithstanding anything that we may have read, and what my dear
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friend and colleague from arizona has described as trash journalism, or maybe trash journalism, the fact is that whatappens on the ground -- wh happens on the ground, at that time will determine whether we with it draw any troops from afghanistan in july of 2011. obviously we hope we'll be able to. i believe that it's important for the president to make that clear, at some point soon, because notwithstanding all the clarifications that followed from him, and secretary gates, secretary clinton, the two of you, and our conversations with people in the region, that date is being read as a date at which the united states is going to begin to pull out, regardless of what's happening on the ground. so, thank you for your
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clarification of that this morning. secondly, i want to ask this question. and some of us on the committee were talking about it afterwards. it's been a run of bad reporting from afghanistan over the last couple of weeks. marines took marja but the taliban is fighting back. there's been beheadings, and targeted assassinations of people who worked with us. general mcchrystal announced last friday that the offensive in kandahar isow being delayed. and yet the reports that you gave in your opening statements yesterday were quite upbeat about what's happening in afghanistan. and i fear there's a gap between the tone and the message that you gave us yesterday, and what we are reading in the media about what's happening. and i wanted to ask you, address yourself to that gap, because that gap can begin to erode the
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support that you need from members of congress and the american people in the months ahead. >> senator, i think you've rais a very important point. and that is the importance of having measured expectations. the conduct of a counterinsurgency operation is a roller coaster experience. there are setbacks, as well as areas of progress or successes. it is -- it is truly an up and down, when you're living it, when you're doing it. even from afar, frkly. but thetrajectory, in my view, has generally been upward, despite the tough losses, despite the setbacks. when i appeared before you some months ago for the posture hearing, a coalition soldier could not have set foot in rjah.
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i did that ju, i guess it was a month and a half ago with the district governor. there wasn't a district governor at that time. there is gradually, again, the expansion of government activities, in the form of schools, in the form of the assistance to revive markets. and in the form, even of nascent judicial systems, if you will, certainly that are tied in to local organizing structures, as well, which is very important. we did the same in nadi ali. in kandahar, bought bread in the market down there. yes, i had security around me, but yes i had hundreds of afghans around me, as well, and bought the bread directly from them. sat there, chatted with them while we ate it. again, this is an u and down process. and that defines the experience of counterinsurgency. where there's no hill that you can take and plant the flag, and then go home to a victory
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parade. rather, progress is almost the absence of something. i remember in iraq, when all of a sudden i realized we were making progress, it was, we were hearing less about a certain activity. say a car bomb or a suicide attack. and all of a sudden we had expanded our forces into an area. the iraqi forces were starting to stand up in certain areas, as is the case, again, in certain areas of afghanistan. so i think it is, again, essential that we realize the challenges in this kind of endeavor. it is also essential that it is both the undersecretary and i noted, that people do realize there has been progress. but there clearly have also been setbacks. beyond that, if i could just underscore what you said about the designation as a vital national security interest. for one who taught international relations for a period, that is a code word. that is a sign of commitment. that's a rhetorical statement that means an enormous amount,
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and again, i appreciate your mentning that. because it does highlight what i was discussing earlier. >> did you want to add something, secretary? >> i would agree with what general petraeus said about counterinsurgency campaigns being a roller coaster ride. but the overall troj ektry is moving in the right direction. the road is going to be hard, there are going to be times when we take one step back and we'll take two steps forward. the one thing i wanted to give as an example is i do think that the reporting on the so-called delay in the kandahar campaign has been overplayed. we tked a lot yesterday about the importance of afghans taking the lead. i think we owe general mcchrystal a degree of -- a great degree of operational flexibility. what's happening in kandahar is he's taking more time to shape the operation. the campaign's already begun. the shaping is happening now.
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and the shura that president karzai conducted on sunday was very important for him to step up and take the lead, the ownership, of what's going to happen in kandahar. and so, if that means delaying some aspects by a little bit of time to make sure that that should all be supporting that. afghan ownership and leadership and that is not any sign of is in place, then, you know, we failure at all. it's a sign of good counterinsurgency strategy. >> thank you both. >> if i could, senator, we probably should distribute what was published as president karzai's talking points for the ndahar shura. because it really makes a number of these points, and this is a president who is acting as a commander in chief. >> that would be very important, thank you. >> thank you senator liebern. senator imhoff? >> i thank you mr. chairman. madam secretary, just as a suggestion, i share the concern of both of the previous questioners about the exit
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strategy, about a date certain, and i was relieved when the president made his speech, i go es it was -- anyway, just as we have done in iraq, we will execute this transition, responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. well, that's a position that i wantedim to take,nd i was relieved to hear that. the problem is i've only heard it once. i asked staff the meeting yesterday to go back and check and see if they've seen any emphasis on that by the president. i would recommend that that be done. that he keep saying that, and that administration does it, and certainly general petraeus and others. because that clarifies it, and makes it clear. but without that, only having said it once, i think there's a little bit of a problem there. let me ask you a question general petraeus. and you've heard me talk about
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this before. and younow that i he a very strong feeling about the program. you've talked about it in your opening comments. we had the circ program in the cinchate that came from the president was at $1.3 billion. and this comprised of $200 million in iraq and $1.1 billion in circ. th committee and i respect them for doing what they thought was the right thing, i disagree with it, has lowered that so that it takes the amount that goes to afghanistan from $1.1 billion down to $800 million. now i'd lik to ask you, your feeling about that, and how valuable is the program? and how would you use it? then the second part of that question is, you had said this, madam secretary, that the mcchrystal needs more operational flexibility. i think we maybe need that in
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the circ program. in talking in my last trip over there, what needs are there that can come from the program, something that can be done fast would be power stations, grid, dam projects, however this has restrictions due to the statute so the money can't necessarily be spent on this type of projects. so the second part of t question would be do we need to change the language, either one of you, and i'd say basically you general petraeus, to be able to accomplish these things that people in the field told me we shoulde spending it on. >> senator, thanks for that. first of all, the president actually has described what you've talked -- what you've quoted himn in a number of different occasions. and i'd come back to the west point speech in particular, where these very important words responsible draw down were used. that, just almost like vital tional interests, that has been a code word for those of us who went through the iraq policy review at the end of which the president announced the responsibility drawdown, and as
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you'll recall lengthened the time over that which was expected earlier. and we are on the process of doing that and touch wood, we think this is -- it is on track. and it will be at the 50,000 number by the end of august, by the way. with respect to the circ for afghanistan we do need the full amount. it is very valuable. we now as i mentioned in my opening statement yesterday, have the inputs just about right. certnly another 9,000 troopers to getn the ground and some of our nato partners, as well. but as we get everybody in position, as we get them out performing their tasks and trying to wre the initiative from the taliban, take away their sanctuaries and capitalize on the serve is critical to that process. now, someone my ask well how come the execution rate, the obligation rate this year so far is low. in part because we're just
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building up, still, again. we actually are doing many more projects, actually lower cost is another issue. but beyond that, we do, indeed, have projects that are stacked up right now. we just have submitted them, in fact, and osd is working on this. and i'll let the secretary talk about these projects for electricification, in particularly, in the kandahar greater regional command south and regional command east areas. >> senator, let me just echo, we think that circ is a critical counterinsurgency tool. we would urge the economity to consider restoring the funding that was removed. in the specific case of the electrical projects in kandahar. it's a very critical element of the fight. we think it directly impacts the population that wee trying to protect and win over to support,
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the isaf and the afghan government. the projects have been developed in close coordination with a.i.d., with a bridging strategy that would evenally hand off to longer-term development efforts. centcom has submitted these proposals. they're being reviewed quickly in the office of the secretary of defense and we'll be making a recommendation to the secretary very shortly. we do not judge at this point that the language needs to be changed. our reading of the language and those of our lawyers, our trusty lawyers, suggest that the flexibility is there to do this kind of thing. >> okay. we're running out of time here. i wouldnly suggest that this is information i got from the field that there are things that we could use that we are restricted from using, so perhaps for the record, you could elaborate a little bit, both of you, on that, and maybe send us something. i'm running out of time here. let me just mention one of the things that is -- i have a hard time answering when i talk to people. they talk about, well the surge was successful in iraq. the surge, however, in iraq, we had ended up with close to
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165,000 troops. in a period of time of 18 months. now we're looking at a surge that might be about 100,000 troops, and talking about nine months. now, considering that afghanistan is about twice the size of iraq, this disparity is hard for me to describe to people why this number will work in afghanistan when it took so much more in iraq. general petraeus, any thoughts i can share with these people? >> i do, senator. thank you. first of all with respect on the timing of the actual surge in iraq, we had all of the surge forces on the ground by end of june, july in there and we actually began to draw down of the first brigade in december. we then did lengthen it out over the course of the next spring, but in this case we will actually have all of our u.s surge forces, all of our tactical units, certainly again
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less the one headquarters that's not required until the month after august, but on the ground by the end of august. and again, the july 2011 date is the date at which the process, again, begins that would have a -- would embark on the quote responsible drawdown of the surge forces. so, that's a pretty considerable period. now, with respect to the density of forces, we've got a situation in afghanistan where there are a mber of places that really don't require substantial numbers of coalition forces. and areas where, in fact, the afghans again are very much in the lead. so, this is about counterinsurgency math. we think we'll have the density. once we get the additional forces on the ground, u.s. forces, nato forces, and then as we're able to rampp the afghan forces by about 100,000 between the period of earlier this year, and the fall of 2011. >> all right, thank you general.
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>> senator imhoff's comment about the importance of the strip program i think reflects the views of every member of this committee and the reason whboth the hask and the sask reduced the $1.8 billion to $800 million in afghanistan is because you're on track in afghanistan to spend only $200 million for this entire year of the bilon that we appropriated last year. so for the record would you also then explain to us why the request is for $1.1 blion and why the reduction to $800 million would have a negative impact, given the spending rate is only $200 million for the entire year? but we do, i think i can say that what senator imhoef says is reflective of this committee's very, very strong support for the circ program and your answer to that country would be helpful to us as we proceed during this budget. i want to thank you for imhofe for your leadership on that program. senator, udall?
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>> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for that clarification about circ. i think everybody on the committee does fully support it. good morning to both of you. general, we all on the committee understand this is an important time in afghanistan. and i think it would be useful to be able to consider president karzai a reliable partner. it's sometimes hard to understand what he says versus what he does and vice verz sa. i had a couple of questions in that regard. how do you best explain what seemingly is his material personality, one day he talks about common causes with the taliban and then another day goes down to kandahar and pleads residents to cooperate in the upcoming fight. and then secondly, i had a chance to get to know minister atmar and had greatespect for his talent and his vision. what do you think his departure mighmean for the important,
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maybe even crucial, police training effort? >> thanks senator. on the first question i think there are a number of explanations, if you will. first of all, perhaps political leaders occasionally differentiate their message a tiny bit, depending on who the audience might be. i think that would never happen in our own country, but i think over there that occasionally happens. second thing is, this is a tough fight. and leaders are under enormous pressure. i can tell you that having dealt with leaders throughout our region, and having dealt with leaders in iraq at various times who were similarly under enormous, perhaps even greater pressure, is just staggering levels of violence in iraq over the years that we were there prior to the downturn.
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again, this can lead individuals at times to have outbursts or to express frustrations. and i think there's a bit of that that is understandable. now, with respect to the president accepting the resignation of the minister of -- former minister of interior, someone, indeed, that we all really knew quite well, have wked with, not just as a minister of interior, but in two previous ministry positions, as well. and one who, again, has impressed all of us, i think the impact of the departure cannot be determined, needless to say, until we know who the replacement is. there areiscussions going on, you should know, that coalition leaders are certainly included in those discussions. which i think is a positive feature of the process but at the end of the day, certainly
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this will be the decision of the president of a sovereign country. but if the candidates that we think are under consideration provide the ultimate next minister, then i think that the ministry will continue forward on a positive projectry. >> so you're guardedly optimistic that there will be a replacemenwith whom we could work and who will bring the same sort of focus and expertise? >> that's correct, senator. i would not rule out again seeing minister ottmar back in another capacity, either. >> that's heartening to hear. if i might let me move to the very fascinating report over the weekend that deputy undersecretary of defense paul brinkley issued on the mineral and natural resource wealth of afghanistan. it's tied to military task force, the task force for business and stability operations and you may know the chairman and i teamed up to
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offer an amendment in the defense authorization act that authorizes that task force to work in afghanistan. the amendment also, general, will ask for report from the dod and the state department to look at the promising sectors in afghanistan's economy, assess their capabilities of the vernment to generate additional revenue, to work on infrastructure needs and so on. we're hopeful this report will pride important information that will enable afghanistan to attract investment and pursue new economic opportunities. i'd trbed to hear your thoughts on the task force work, and more generally about these economic development opportunities. and the undersecretary may want to respond, as well. >> well, first of all, if i could just say that deputy undersecretary paul brinkley, in the task force stability operations did phenomenal work in iraq. it was really created initially, in fact, to our request at that time, that someone try to get some business leaders back in to iraq.
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it was a land of extraordinary opportunity, but also at that time, a land of extraordinary violence. but you had to look out over the horizon. you had to envoice a world where the violence was reduced, and business could begin to flourish again, given the extraordinary potential that iraq has in terms of its energy resources, natural water, agriculture, and a variety of other blessings, including human capital. and he was able to bring in business leaders at a time when no business leader in his right mind would come in on his own. we flew them around, secured them, housed them, fled them and everything else. and over time, this led to some very big deals, actually. for american business, but also in some cases for some other businesses, as well. because we did indeed open more widely than that. but some very, very big transactions that iraq needed. in fact, this is at a time when prime minister maliki specifically was asking me as a military commander if i could get a certain corporation to
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re-engage after the earlier disappointing experience there. and get another one, in the electrical sector, the oil sector, gas and so forth. again deputy undersecretary brinkley did great work there. so, in fact, iencouraged, and we had help to get him in to afghanistan, we might even look a bit more broadly than that, but, in fact, it was during his process of getting acquainted with the situation on the ground in afghanistan that these geological surveys and other documents were all pulled together, and i think people realize the magnitude of the mental resources that exist in afghanistan. recognizing e enormous challenges to actually turning those in to wealthnd income and so forth for thh people, revenue. but nonetheless, recognizing extraordinary pontial that is there. it has some of the world's last remaining superdeposits or some other terms, certainly, for
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environment, lithium, tin, timber, gemstones. it has some coal, it has some natural gas and oil. so, again, they're not super deposits. but it has extraordinary potential. and again, helping business find its way to that in partnership with the military that is trying to create the security foundation on which they can build and operate i think is a very important initiative and i appreciate the committee's support for that particular initiative. that's one of the areas in which we've learned huge lessons in the context of counterinsurgency operations in the last five years or so. >> let me just add that i think that what the picture that's pointed from the u.s. geological survey that was done, which is only a parpgs survey, that under mr. brinkley's sponsorship, really paints a brighter economic picture for afghanistan midterm and long-term.
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and it creates at least the prospect of a much more sustainable economy that can actually support some of the capabilities that we are putting in place today, like the armed forces, another government and economic capacity. it also shines a spotlight on the importance of some of our capacity building efforts, particularly with the ministry of mines. which is under new leadership that seems very capable and competent. and we are working very closely with them to try to build their capacity so that this information informs their planning and think sort of get off to the right -- on the right foot in terms of pursuing some of these opportunities, working with businesses, private secr companies from various -- from around the world. so we think this is a bright spot on the horizon, as general petraeus said, it's going to take a lot of time and effort to build the capacity, and the sort
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of legal structures and so forth to really take full advantage of this. but we're working along those lines. >> thank you for that elaboration. >> thank you very much senator. thank you for your leadership on this very, very important part of the afghan picture, essential that leadership be there, we're all grateful to you for it. senator brown? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, it's good to see you. in such chipper shape today. and, a lot of cookies back there, which i hope you partaken a couple. when we met i afghanistan, actually, i was aware, we were briefed, in fact, of the mineral and oil and other deposits and it became apparent to me that for one, they have a problem how to get everything out of the earth, one. number two, how to security it and gett from point "a" to pointb." and number three how to ensure that the corruption that we've
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seen in afghanistan actually keeps the money in country and has it flow down to the individual citizens. so the challenges, madam secretary, and general, obviously seem great. yes, there is a bright ot, but it also appears to be, how do we get from point "a" to point "b"? do you see a role with the military in anything aside from securing, or what do you think general, in that regard? >> again, the security foundation is the essential component to all of this. without that you can't build the legal regime that's required. you can't combat the corruption that creeps in to these kinds of activities. so it is essential in that regard. we do, indeed, provide an important supporting role to those like the task force for stability operationsa.i.d., some international and nongovernmental organizations, that are also trying to help afghanistan with these. and so in that sense, we are an
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enabler for them in certain respects, as well. >> mr. chairman, i have a couple other hearings but i'm going to just ask two more questions and then turn it back, the remainder of any time i have. sir, one of the things we also noted and i'm a subcommittee chair on afghan contracting issues with the afghan police and the like, what's your involvement, or military's involvement in curtailing the level of corruption with the security forces in afghanistan? any news to report on that? >> there is, senator, actually. in fact, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and i have pushed at general mcchrystal's request the establishment of a task force, led by two-star navy admiral who, in fact, she was the joint contracting command, iraq commander when i was the commander in iraq, now she has one more star. she is going to head a task force thatill go in and augment the contracting command
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that helps in iraq. that oversees this effort in iraq -- or in afghanistan. and then gets at who are not only the subcontractors, but the subcontractors to the subcontractors. literally, where is the money going? and is it all above board? and that's a hugely important component of dealing, again, with corruption issues, dealing with warlordism and a variety of other challenges that cause issues for afghanistan. >> because as you know, it's $6 billion and cnting with many more billions forthcoming. and then on the final note, mr. chairman, what type of cooperation are we getting from pakistan with regarding, you know, regarding the -- some of the terrorist activities that the taliban and the like that we're experiencing on the cross-border situations? >> pakistan has over the course of the last year, senator, conducted impressive counterinsurgency operations against thetalibani,
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pakistani taliban and some of its affiliates in the former northwest province in eastern south waziristan and currently in orexi. there is no question that this is an organization primarily threatens them, although it is linked to the would-be times square bomber. so there is an external component to this that has emerged. there clearly are other extremist elements that ttp has symbiotic relationships with. among them, certainly al qaeda, the hakani network, the afghan taliban and a number of others that do have sanctuaries in various parts of the border region of afghanistan. in some cases, the pakistani military has dealt with them as part of securing lines of communication for us and for themselves in their fight against the extremists that are
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threatening their rit of governance. in some cases there is clearly more work that needs to be done. general mcchrystal, admiral mullen and i have met with general kiani in a recent meeting. we have shared information with him about links of the leadership of the hakani network located in north waziristan that had a -- that clearly commanded controlled the operation against bagram air base and the attack in kabul among others. and again, the challenge for the pakistani military, because i think it is important again to note what they have done over the course of the last year because it is significant, the challenge is a situation which they have a lot of short sticks and a lot of hornets nests and they have to figure out how to consolidate those to get through -- they've done good clearance operations. they've got to get further along in the hold, build and transition phases as well so that they can deal with more and more. they do realize, i believe,
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senator, that you cannot allow poisonous snakes to build a nest in your backyd with the understanding that those snakes will only bite the neighbor's kids. cause sooner or later, they turn around and bite your kids. and i think that realization has grown during this whole period of their experience with the ttp and its affiliates. and as they recognize again what secretary gates terms a symbiotic relationship with the other extremist elements. they are all related. >> thank you for that very thorough answer, general. i appreciate it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator brown. and thank you for raising the issue of the security contractors. you know that -- as you know, the committees, the middle of a year-long investigation into these activities or the private contractors, not only because of some of the problems that have been created by them, but also because of the corruption issue which you raise and we're grateful for your bringing this to this committee's attention
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again. but also because they are a drain on the armed forces and the police. there's competition for those particular personnel and it creates a real issue as well. senator kaufman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary, general petraeus, it's always weak when we say we thank you for your service. i just don't know what else to say, but it is incredible what you do and the country is blessed for doing it. and i've been one of the people that supported the counterinsurgency. i've spent a lot of time looking to everything about it and what we're doing here. t i just want to ask some questions because sometimes they kind of -- time passes and things change, but people's perception of things change. but i think it was pretty clear after our last set of hearings, pretty clear what everybody agreed to was the deal back when. i n't think that's important because what does cause problems overseas if it looks like we're
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changing where we are. so i'd just like to make a few questions to get clear. in december, we're going to evaluate where we are,sn't that right? so december -- and this is -- and no one should be at the int of prejudging where we are now. december we're going to sit down and figure out where weare. next june 2011, we're going to begin to draw down troops. the question on conditions on the ground is just how many troops we draw down. is that correct? >> that is correct. again, that's the point, actually july 2011. that's the point at whic again, the point responsible drawdown of the surge forces begins at a rate to be determined by the conditions. >> exactly. >> so it's not whether we're going to draw down, it's the rate that is determined by conditions on the ground. >> that's the policy, correct. >> and there will be no more new introduction of troops? >> that is not the intention right now. >> no, but i mean, i think both
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chairman mullens, the secretary gates and secretary clinton said in the foreign relations committee that this would preclude any drawdown of troops. secretary gates said there may be the 3,000 troops we may need for guards and things like that, but essentially this is not a situation where we're going to be increasing the troops in afghanistan. >> senator, as a commander, as a military commander who owes the commander in chief and our troops in the field my best -- i owe the president my best professional military advice. that's something that's a sacred obligation with our troopers. i wouldever rule out coming ba and asking for something more. i think that would be irresponsible. the intention right now is the -- our consideration right now, our view is that with the additional forces ordered by the president with the flex that you mentioned that secretary gates has d general mcchrystal has stated this in a letter to the
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ranking member of t house armed services committee that we will have the fors required to execute the strategy. >> right. and i think your role is perfect. i guess i should have directed this to the secretary because it was the -- the secretary of defense, secretary of state who said we do not have to introduce new troops. general, i totally respect the fact, and i would be -- i mean it goes without saying that you'd ask for more troops if you think we needore troops to provide our military objective. so that's -- but in terms of the official position of the president of the united states and the secretary of state, secretary of defense and the head of the joint chiefs, we put all the troops we're going to be putting into afghanistan. is that fair to say? >> i think at this point in time that is the policy. there is no expectation of introducing any additional troops. we are also talking about a period of time in the future. so i don't think anybody would want to tie the president's hands either way, but as a matter of policy, our
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expectation is that in july 2011, the end of the surge will occur and we will begin a responsible drawdown. the pace and scope of which will be determined by conditions on the ground. >> and general, to try to get at where we do have potential problems or -- the u.s. troops in afghanistan are performing magnificently. is that a fair statement? >> that is correct. in fact, i have said, senator, that this is the new greatest generation of americans. our young men and women who are performing these tough tasks under very difficult conditions against a very difficult enemy. >> i mean, i think their behavior -- i think from top to bottom, when i go over there i am incredibly impressed with the fact you have been able to inlcate in troops from the bottom to the top that were in a counterinsurgency strategy and we move from a counter -- i mean, just the fact you were able to do it in such a short
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period of time and the performance of our troops is naggive in cent at all levels. so if it was up to our troops, i have no doubt about how this wouldurn out. none, zero. and i think it's really incredible when you see our partnering wit the -- and it's true in iraq, too. but the thing that makes it all work in terms of the partning is theyant to be on our team. the afghan national army and afghan national police, when they see our troops and spend time with our troops, they realize this is it. these are the big guys. these are the guys that know what they are doing. these are the guys i want to bow groh grow up and be like. i don't see anything in the performance of our troops that is anything except on mark doing great. we're doing fine. >> senator, if i can somewhat jokingly say, except the truth is it was serious, when i would talk to the transition team members in iraq before they would join their iraqi counterpart units that that our
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troopers should knowhat the iraqis, and this is true for the afghans and really for many other forces. they see our troopers as the michael jordans of military operations. >> exactly. >> and i realized that was really the case when i saw them look exactly like our troopers, even to the point of wearing their knee pads around their ankles, rather than around their knees. the key is see. watch and see them look at our troopers and they say, you can see it in the eyes. that's what i want to be when i grow up. to the extent we have a problem, i think i would say we have to evaluate going forward and i think most of the people on the committee recognize in the beginning the fact that counterinsurgency is not just about our troopers. >> it is a -- at the end of the day it has to be aomprehensive civil military. really, we term it whole of governments with an s on the end endeavor. >> now before i leave the troops, i went to dahlgren and saw the nonlethal weapons down
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there. i understand you were there, too. and i am, you know, when you go over there and see what the troopers are faced with, the idea that they eitherave to -- it's easy for us to say, but if there's a bus coming up behind your convoy at a high rate of speed and the only choice you have is to fire in the bus or take the chance it's going to blow up the convoy, that's a tough decision for any trooper to make. or at a forward operating base when you've got a car coming for you at a high rate of speed. and you got two choices. you can either fire into the car or let it crash into the barricade. so i am -- i say obsessed with nonlethal weapons in terms of ways to give our troopers a third choice at all times between deadly force and no action at all on putting themlves in danger. can you talk a little bit about that? >> i can, senator. if i could, i'd offer even a fourth alternative, i guess. the third alternative is the various -- are the various tools
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that are employed in escalation of force circumstances. and as you note, some of these are nonlethal weapons. there are a variety of signaling devices, disabli devices and others. we've got to be very careful with this. we have to realize that there ar points, obviously, when that vehicle is really coming at you. you really have to shoott it to stop it. but there is another option as well, and that same group is examining this also as our other organizations. and that is equipment to shape the conditions so that you are not a position where you have to shoot at the vehicle at all that if the vehicle keeps coming forward, it runs into a cement block or it -- you know, something else -- there's another alternative altogether. that's difficult. but we're working hard. that's a leadership challenge, and a training challenge and a doctrinal challenge as much as it is an equipment solution. but the equipment is wrapped into this. we're looking at that as well as
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a w of just avoiding escalation of force situations altogether and not having to use either nonlethal nor lethal force. but that's all caught up in this. and we've been working it really very hard. i think since the very early days of certainly iraq, which is where we first had to encounter the suicide bomber threat in particular is where you are most concerned. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, senator kaufman. senator wicker. >> thank you. thank u general, for bng here and for your great work. i want to call to your attention an article which i'm sure you read in the june 12 "new york times." the headline is karzai is said to doubt west can defeat taliban. and this article talks about the firing of two of president karzai's top aides mr. salai and
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mr. atmar. they were said to have quit because mr. karzai made it clear he no longer condered them loyal. the article goes on to say that mr. karzai has lost faith in t americans and nato to prevail in afghanistan, and one of the fired individuals, mr. salehas spoken at length saying that president karzai has been pressing to strike his own deal with the taliban and the country's arch rival pakistan. the taliban's long time supporter, according to a former senior afghan official, mr. karzai's maneuverings involve secret negotiations with the taliban outside the purview of american and nato officials. what do you say to that? i know senator main was pressing on this yesterday.
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is this happening at all in your judgment, and if it is, is it happening because the americans aree giving an uncertain sound about being a long-term strategic partner with mr. karzai and his government? >> with respect to the very last point of that, senator, having talked with president karzai indeed about the meeting of july 2011, just as i started out today's session by explaining as precisely as i could what that means. that it's a message of urgency that went along with the huge additional message of commitment. senator lierman reminded us of the words vital national interest used by the president with respect to afghanistan. and again, july 2011, the point at which a process begins that is based on conditions to begin the responsible drawdown of the
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surge forces at a rate to be determined by those conditions at that time based on advice and so forth. and also a process to begin transitioning some tasks to afghan forces and officials. but i am not sure that i share the characterization of the headline at least of -- about president karzai's feelings. i base that on conversations with president karzai. a number of them in the past month and a half or so in kabul, from kandahar and washington -- >> how often do you speak -- >> it's probably at least every couple of weeks. again, it depends on the travel schedule. there's a period where we saw him several times in a period of just about two weeks and then it may go a couple of weeks otherwise. but what we also do, of course, is at the very least, weekly video teleconference that the secretary of defense, undersecretary chairman mullen and i do with general mcchrystal
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and then lots of other conversations with him in exchanges. and he certainly does not share that sense. he just accompanied president karzai, for example, all day on sunday when psident karzai flew to and from kandahar and held the sura couil down there. i mentioned earlier to the committee, i think it would be important that the committee see the talking points he used for that because this is a very clear statement by a president who is the commander in chief of his country, who is committing to takinghe actions that are necessary and is rallying the people behind him. and who then at the end of this tells the isaf commander, also u.s. forces commander, you now have my full support for the conduct of these operationsnd the support of theeople in this area. now with resct to meetings and so forth, president karzai, of
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course, just hosted the national consultative jurga, peace jurga, which indeed addressed reconciliation and reintegration. i believe that we are aware of the meetings that he has and that his representatives have. he typically either includes our elements or at the very least will back brief us. i would not characterize these as something that will culmite in reconciliation coming soon to a theater near us. reconciliation again being high level taliban leaders coming in from -- to accept the conditions that president karzai has established accepting the constitution, laying down weapons, participating in the process and so forth. on the other hand, there very clearly is a scope for reintegration. and that is the term used for the reintegration into society of reconcilable members of the taliban network. now we're talng low and midlevel low.
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there are a number of cases in which that is ongoing. i was just reading in the morning book this morning the case in shinden out in the western part of e country. there's 80 or so coming with their hands up, weapons down, want to be reintegrated, and it's very important now, in fact, that the interim guidance that president kzai has provided then is promulgated as formal guidance and does move forward to provide what o troopers need in terms of legal structures if you will, and what the afghan government elements need to work together to take advantage of those kinds of opportunities. >> how likely is it, general, that secret negotiations could have been held with the taliban outside the purview of american and nato officials. >> i think it's very unlikely in pa because we are told about what goes on and we also have
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good insights as they say in the intelligence community into what's going on on top of that. and the insights tend to correlate with what we are told >> well, let me touch on one other thing in my remaining time. and that's interpreters. of course, we need interpreters. but i'm told that in securing the services of talented linguists, they are being paid by the coalition anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 a year which is a -- considered by some a distortion of the afghan economy. are you concerned that we're taking some of the best human capital that could be used in the afghan government, in afghan
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civil society, in afghan business and taking them away so they can be interpreters for the coalition? >> the short answer is yes, senator. in fact, ambassador holbrooke and i discussed this with president karzai after we completed the two-day civil military review of concept drill in kabul about two months or so ago. and then went back to brief presidentkarzai. very clearly, there is an issue. by the way, i don't think the salaries you quoted are correct for afghans. i think those may be for u.s. citizens or afghan-americans or something. but again, that we might want to verify for you. but the fact is your point, which is more important, the b substance of your point, is exactly correct. what happens in some cases is the afghan government, other countries, contributing nations, help build afghan human capital by investing in them with
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education and then we -- to go back and to work in afghan ministries and so forth and then in some cases, the ngos hire them away. we hir them away. so we're competing with our own efforts and we have to figure out how to come to grips with this. this is another one of those tasks that this contracting task force is going to take a hard look at. in fact, the afghan government really needs some kind of either law or regulations on this. you know, when the u.s. government sent me to graduate school, i believe i had to give back three years for each year that i was in graduate school. and they need something like that. and president karzai is actually keenly aware of it, as are we. >> plan to be announced later. >> correct. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, senator wicker. senator cacao. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me add my welcome to
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secretary ournoy and general petraeus. d i want to thank each of you for your leadership and also for your distinguished service. and also thank you to the men and women that you lead - both of you lead at this service and commitment to our country is honored and really appreciated. general petraeus, you recently told members of the house armed services committee that training of afghan security forces is being overhauled. i understand that training procedures for afghan police and security forces were being overhauled to avoid some of the mistakes made in iraq. general, can you give us an
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update on training efforts in afghanistan and any lessons learned since implementing those changes? >> with respect, senator, the training is being overhauled to avoid mistakes being made in afghanistan or shortcomings in afghanistan. that's not to say that there weren't plenty of shortcomings in our effort in iraq. in fact, we tried to share those with our afghan counterparts at various times during my different tours in iraq. in fact, after the conclusion of one of those tours, after standing up the training mission in iraq, secretary rumsfeld asked me to go to afghanistan on the way home from iraq. we did. we spent time over there. and, indeed, identified -- shared what we learned but also, frankly, identified a number of areas in which improvements could be made there at that time. some of those were made. some still, frankly, are being
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addressed now that general caldwell is in command. he's been in command about six months now. lirally, the establishment of the nato training mission in afghanistan itself, which is an input, not an output, but that is a hugely significant development for all of this. but there are a number of initiatives that have been already begun now. just toive you one example. instead of a three-year afghan police for officers training program, they've now got an officer candidate school to complement this because there's a war going on out there and we need officers in the interim as well. it's a six-month program which we think will be good and will provide leadership on a more immediate basis to enable the kind of progress that we know we need urgently and not ust have this very long process. there's als been a change. there was a procedure with the police and the number of different areas where they were
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recruited assigned and then trained when they got to it. and now the process is very much to recruit, train and then assign. just the recruiting itself, there is the creation of a recruiting component. and that has significant improved for the army as well. cruiting. and then there have been measures taken to improve retention to reduce attrition as well as various incentive packages and policies and so forth. and those on the basis of three months at least, and we don't want to declare that a true trend just yet, but those have enabled the building of the additional army and additional police elements to be on track for now after a period in which they were not on track. so that's just a few of the areas. there are enormous chaes made in the institutional training business. it used to be there was one trainer for every 80 trainees,
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obviously, inadequate. now it's closer to 1 to 29 or 30. and i could give you again chapter and verse across the board on this. and for those who are traveling there, and i know the chairman and ranking member both are gog to afghanistan in the weeks ahead. general caldwellooks forward to briefing your groups as you come over and to describe them to you in one program the things that have been changed and the ones under development. >> secretary flournoy, the international security assistance fce and afghan national security force are acting in partnership during operations in helmand province. it is the first large-scale effort to fundamentally change how we are operating together.
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madam secretary, can you give us specific examples of how coalitioand afghan forces have partnered together during the helmand province operations? >> i think the marjah operation really was the beginning of a very different way of doing business together. and i would say it was not only about the partnership between isaf and afghan forces, but between isaf andhe entire -- well, i would say the broader coalition, whole of government cabilities and the afghan government as a whole. and so beginning from the planning stages, you had a combined afghan isaf team that was planning not only for t military dimensions of the campaign but also for elements of different afghan ministries to come in and immediately establish a governance prence
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in marjah and the surrounding areas. so that has really created a different way of doing business together that has now carried into other areas. as the planning a preparation and the early stages of shaping in kandahar unfold. that same kind of in-depth and multifacetted partnership is happening again. and i would just say that it's not only partnership. it's really putting afghans in the lead in helping to design the operation, in helping to determine the timing of the operation and setting the conditions for ultimate success in the operation. so that is a very different way of doing business than we've done in the past. and i think it's a -- an approach that general mcchrystal has pioneered with his afghan partners, and i think it bodes
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well for the future. >> thank you. an average. >> senator, we do have an institutional trainer shortfall by echoing the comments of my colleagues that were very relieved to see you looking so well today. i was quite confident that it wasn't the probing questions of this committee which caud your problem yesterday. and today you have shown for certain that that is the case. ultimately, our success in afghanistan depends on the ability of the afghanorces to take over the fight and to provide security for the country. you've just had an exchange with my colleague senator akaka about the training and you indicated that we've gone from having
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trainers in a ratio of 1 to 80 to 1 to 29 or 30. but the 12/31 report indicates that nato, overall, has the requirement for more than 2300 trainers and that there is a shortfall of almost one-third, of 32%. similarly, general casey recently noted that the lack of trained afghans was the major ncern among u.s. troops in afghanistan. there are also stories of where our troops have expressed doubts about the willingness of the afghans to fully engage in the fight as long as we're there doing the work. what are we doing to fix the shortage of trainers internationally and what is the
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status of the requirement versus the actual numbers now? and if madam secretary, if that's more appropriate question for you, whichever. >> actually, we can both do that, i think, senator. first, because i just wanted to add that the deputy supreme allied commander in europe literally just sent out a message that i got word on that this morning asking for additional trainers. the latest numbers that we have, by the way, and these do fluctuate as trainers come, trainers go, pledges are made and filled and, indeed, trainer requirements grow because as the forces grow, as we try to increase capacity for training, needless to say, the demand for trainers increases. but the latest that we have is 450 is the shortage. there are -- we are trying to bridge the gap in certain areas. soldiers and marines are doing some of that. and as i mentioned, the deputy commander for the nato operational element has just
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asked for more of them. and then if i could also add before handing off, as i mentioned up front, senator, the afghan forces are very much in the fight. they are in the lead, indeed in some areas, limited areas, but kabul is one of them. other areas and other mission sets, there are some functional missions, convoy, escort and some other tasks that -- for which they're in the lead. but they are very much in the fight throughout the country. and there is nobetter, perhaps more tragic metric that shows that than the fact that they -- their losses are typically several multiples of our u.s. losses on an average. >> senator, we do have an institutional trainer shortfall of about 450. we continue to press our nato allies to step up and fill those gaps. that said, the secretary's made
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clear that he intends to deploy additional u.s. personnel to bridge the gap as necessary because this is such a critical mission. it is a long pol and attentive of what we're trying to do in afghanistan. in addition, there are some continued shortfalls, although we've made a lot of progress here in what we call omelets and palmlets, the mentoring teams that are embedded with afghan army and police units. you know, we started out with a requirement of about 180 omelets. we're now at a shortfall of 14 of those teams. we started out with a requirement of 5 palmlets. we're now at about 140 shortfall. in that case, we're taking two kinds of mitigation measures. one is with this much more intensive partnering between isaf and nsf units. in some cases that partnering can make up for the fact you
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don't have an omelet or palmlet with a given it. pn other cases we've taken a train the trainer approach and we're actually having -- there are afghan police training teams that are now prepared to embed to train afghan police units. so we are -- there are a number of mitigation measures in place. we are leaning forward on this very hard because it is such an important part of the mission. >> thank you. counterinsurgency strategy as we've all learned over the past few years depends on a unity of effort by both the military and the civilian side. in an after action report in december of last year, retired general barry mccaffrey predicted that, and i quote, the international civilian agency surge will essentially not happen. although the state department officers, usaid, cia and other
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american agencies will make vital contributions. afghanistan over the next twoo three years will simply be too dangerous for most civilian agencies. madasecretary, what is the status of the international civilian surge? it's so essential that we not just rely on the military side. and that's why general mccaffrey's prediction is alarming to me. >> i think i would agree with your premise that the civilian surge is absolutely critical as part of this broader campaign. on the u.s. side, we have more than tripled our civilian personnel and that is likely to increase further as the campaign unfolds. we have developed very cooperative concepts of operation s our civilians are partnered with and protected by
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military forces as well as their own state department securit forces. internationally as we've gone out to llies, we have pressed them not only to increase their troop contributions but also their civilian contributions. and many, many have stepped up, whether it's growing the civilian contributions to their prts, which historically have been more military, or in cases like countries like malaysia where they are actually sending a whole new contingent of civilian medical personnel and so forth. so that is part of the effort. i think one of the challenges here on our side is that we have never resourced our own state -- or at least not recently, not since the vietnam era, we have not resourced our civilian agencies, state and a.i.d., to actually deploy -- rapidly deploy civilian expeditionary people and capabilities with any
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frequency or with any sustainability. if we want to be able to do that as a nation, that's something we need to look at in the future because we've put the state department and the usaid in the position of having to throw together an ad hoc solution to a problem they've done exceedingly well. well, they haven't fully resourced them in the way they need to be resourced for this mission. >> general? >> if i could just add to what the undersecretary says, when i've talked about the inputs piece that we're trying to get the right organizations led by the right people wh the right concepts and the levels of resources necessary to implement those concepts. among the right people, since, in fact, general mcchrystal and ambassador eikenberry going in have been the addition of a nato representative, a very capable
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person. and then most recently, there's an eu rep there as well. in fact, when i was in the uk this past week, i talked to the eu foreign secretary, if you will, and she described her strong commitment to the mission there as ll. and all of them were involved in our civil military review of concept drill that ambassador holbrooke and i coasted in kabul now about two months or so ago. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i'm going to take a minute to clarify some of the numbers that senator collins listed because there's been some confusion about it and is a critical number when it comes to the trainers, the omelets, the pomlets. this is a critical mission to get them to take responsibility for their own security. i'm going to take a mute to go throh those numbers. you said there's a shortfall of 450, what you call institutional trainers essentially. these are what i kind of call the basic training.
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but that's 450 shortfall. there's also, i believe, not included in that number is a pledged number, which is not yet been forthcoming. is that correct? what is that number? >> i have 574 edged, 235 pending meaning, you know, we're still -- they are still getting confirmation in capitals. >> is that on top of the 450? >> yes. that would be in addition to. >> that's a -- >> but think -- >> right. but i think we - and it's generallyan count on those. >> mbe we can count on them but they're not there yet. 574 plus 234 plus 450. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> on omelets and pomlets,bout how many in those units. if we're 14 short, but how many are there? five, ten, 20? omelets are between 11 and 28 personnel per omelet. it depends on the -- >> that's fine.
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>> they're tailored to conditions. >> pomlets, between 15 and 20. >> we can do the multi multiiplication. >> does that look right, general? >> it does. >> and that is down considerably since, as you know, we devoted substantial numbers of mares and soldiers do these and then also have used a brigade combat team fromhe 82nd airborne, for example, to help with the partnering effort, i.e., theomlets and pomlets in the regional command center. >> i think very appropriately done. it's a critical mission. so very sportive of it. thank you and thank you seniority collins. senator hagan. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thanks again to sact flournoy and secretary petraeus for being here today with us.
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i want to talk for a couple of minutes about president karzai's reconciliation and reintegration program. and i know it's important that reconciliation and reintegration efforts operate within the context of a broader counterinsurgency strategy. it's not possible for the afghan government to reconcile with senior level taliban or reintegrate low-level taliban fighters as long as the taliban remains militarily strong and convinced that they are winning the war. and i believe that we need to avoid a situation where warlords and power brokers retain their militias. it's certainly too high a price to pay for reconciliation. financial incentives alone are not sufficient to reconcile with low level taliban fighters because they will be subje to brutal retaliation against themselves and their families. and if the government of afghanistan cannot protect them from rett ribbution it would be suicidal for them to shift sides. however, improved security
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conditions through afghanistan, coupled with financial incentives and job opportunities can lead to effective reconciliation. and i know that u.s. officials have expressed support for the inclusion of the taliban in a future afghanistan government, so long as any former militants joining the government break with al qaeda, lay down their arms and accept the afghan constitution. my question is, outside of the jurga on june the 4th, has president karzai begun tranating his reconciliation and reintegration initiatives into program and policies? >> well, first of all, senator, if i could just say that's a very accurate and quite a nuanced description, frankly, of the situation and of the basic conceptsehind all of this. it's exactly right. with respect to reintegratn, there is interim guidance that our forces and afghan officials are using. but as i mentioned earlier, it's
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important that president karzai now promulgate this formally. and that, we believe, will happen quite soon according to general mcchrystal in a video teleconference yesterday morning. with respect to reconciliation, an outcome of the national consultant of peace jirga is, indeed, direction to develop further reconciliation programs while noting that there are criteria that do exist. it's very clear. and you just stated those as well. what has to take place for groups oop former insurgent factions indeed to be eligible for reconciliation. but again, the promulgating instructions to provide the real governmental guidance and policies for that is -- are still under development noting that again, that is quite high level and even though there may be talks going on periodically
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among emissaries or what have you, i think as you pointed out, thatt is unlikely to see true reconciliation while the taliban still feels that it is in the ascendant or at least can wait us out. >> if i could just add, senator, on reintegration for low and midlevel fighters, based on president karzai's interim guidance, we have with thanks to this committee for making this possible, used the authority that you all helped to give us to use up to $100 million of cerp in support of reintegration efforts. we've actually released those funds. so those are you available for commanders work with their afghan partners at the local and district level to start making -- taking advantage of some of these reintegration opportunities. on the reconciliation side, coming out of the jirga, one of th conclusions of the jirga was
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to establish a high -- what's called a high peace council or commission which will be the afghan mechanism that will really begin to start thinking through reconciliation as -- and a programatic sort of level. we have also made very clear how we're going to organize ourselves on the u.s. side so that we're joined at the hip. this is obviously an afghan-led process. it is very important that we say partnered with them as they consider how to move forward on this and that this is fully implemented with the broader surgency campaign. >> has the low-level integration actually started, and is it successful? >> it has started. i would -- it would be premature, i think, to describe it as successful yet, but it is certainly a work in progress in several different locations of afghanistan. there are as many as in one
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case, 80 that i read about this morning in an intel book, for example in the rional command west area that came in literally with their hands up, laid their hands down, wanted to be reintegrated. and their incentives are very much in line with what you laid out. in that particular area, a combination of afghan government, security forces and coalition forces, i think non-u.s., but i'd have to check that, brought about security conditions just put enough pressure on the taliban that they decided this is not what we want to continue doing for the rest of our lives and if there's an alternative that allows us back into society and then with a security arrangement does have some incentives, as well, then that's a course they are willing to take. that's basically where they are now. but the follow-on piece that. as you'll recall in iraq, ultimately, we ended up hiring on our payroll using cerp for fixed site security contracts,
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103,000 iraqi -- largely iraqi men. by the way, aut 20,000 or more were shia, jt so the record understands there's a shia awakening and a sunni awakening. we do not envision doing the same thing there. there's not the prospect, even though the great mineral wealth it's found, that's not going to be exploited in substantial form, we wouldn't think, for some years. so we don't want to saddle afghanistan with a very costly program. rather, we want to enable much more local programs with the amount of cerp that the undeecretary talked about being part of that. >> you mentioned the newfound wealth of the minerals. i know on the 14th, "the new york times" reported that the -- this discovery of nearly a illion dollars in untapped mineral deposits. does this new mineral wealth have the ability to fundamentally alter the afghan economy, but does it also have
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the opportunity to amplify the existing problems of government corruption and provide greater incentive for the taliban to actually fight for control of the government? >> i was just wondering, does afghanistan's newfound wealth alter the coalition the counterinsurgency approach, governance, support plan, development plan, and i know this could be years in the making, but on the ground now, how does this play into our strategy? >> well, rst, tonswer your first question, i think it's an all of the above potential is present. potentially it could be an incredible boon to afghanistan. it could enable them to pay for their own governmental officials, forces, programs and so forth in a way that i think prior to this, there was not that same expectation. but again, being very careful about how difficult this will
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be. beyond that, we have been engaged. pgain, this was not a revelation to a lot of white house have been working this. again there was a keen awareness of the different copper deposits. cha is already in trying to extrt that and to build the infrastructure necessary and to get it out and so forth. but there is an awareness of these differentpportunities that are out there. some of them are bei exploited inmall ways by either local strong men. i don't know if i'd quite go to warlords, but different power brokers and so forth, or officials. and it's very important that there be a legal regime that governs this as well and this is something we're quite keenly aware and the civilian elements have been working. i give you one example. the timber. there's enormous timber resources in eastern afghanistan in particular. there is a law. they haven't been able to implement it and that's the kind of effort that has to go forward
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if it's to become something that serves the state rather than just some interest within it. >> i would just add, when we became aware, when the survey results came in last year, i think what it has done, even though it's a very long-term proje project, it has helped to inform some prioritization. for example, putting more priority on capacity building in the ministry of mines, the ministry of finance. putting more emphasis on looking at this particular area of law and regulations so that we try to sort of -- if you're going to start with a sector, let's start with this sector. and it's also, we're trying to work with a.i.d. and others to make sure that the knowledge of these deposits and so forth actually inform some of our near-term projects and communities where these ar located. so you start creating the foundations that will position those communities to take full
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advantage of the wealth that's literally right underneath them. so i think it has formed some reprioritization of our efforts. >> i see my time sup. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator hagan. >> madam secretary, sernl, thank you. i want to welcome you back today. we're very pleased to have you back. i'm not sure i would have been anxious, if i were you, to come back in front of this committee. nevertheless, thank you for your great service. general, about a year ago, general mcchrystal restricted close air support operations in afghanistan in an effort to reduce casualties and damage. i fully understand the efforts by you and general mcchrystal to employ counterinsurgency tactics and strategy in this war. and that the mcchrystal closed air support directive is an effort to restrain the use of firepower which is cruci to
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fighting an insurgency. however it seems to me that the directive can also elevate the risk to troops who are under fire and require the kind of asstance that close air support can provide. after a year or so of this directive being in plac what is your evaluation of the results of this directive and what kind of efft do you think it's had on the war? >> first, senator, in fact, general mckiernan was the first one to promulgate the so-called tactical directive. and he did tt with the intent of reducing to an absolute minimum the loss of innocent civilian life in the couct of military operations. and he did it in the wake of some instances in which substantial numbers of civilians were killed in the course of military operations and almost undermined the entire strategic effort there in afghanistan. it was a -- it had a very serious pact. general mcchrystal did refine
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the tactical directive. also did issue counterinsurgency guidance as well. again, same intent. let me state up front, though, that we will drop a bomb or use attack helicopters or any other enabler, any time at any place if our troopers' lives are in jeopardy, if their safety and well-being is in jeopardy. if they are pinned down and cannot get out, we will do what is necessary. but there are a number of cases in which that is not necessary. where you are being engaged from a house. just to give you one example, and there are many of these. you are being engaged from a house. it may not be completely effective fire. you can break contact. you know, our predisposition is to close the infantry. to take the fight to the enemy. buthere are cases in which you have to balance that with the recognition that if you don't
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know who is in that house and taking the fight to the enemy ultimately means blowing up the house, which is sometimes what has to result if you are going to take out those bad guys that are shooting at you. but in the course of doing that, you kill a substantial number of civilians, that, quote, tactical success then becomes a strategic setback of considerable proportions. now as we have evaluated this and looked at it, and we have done after action reviews throughout the course of the year, there are clearly cases in which we need to ctinue to educate our leaders. again, we want on the one hand to be absolutely responsive when that is necessary. as i said, we will never restrict the use of our fire power, our enablers if our troopers are in jeopardy on the ground. but also, you need a sufficient, very rapid review process so that folks really do look at this and examine and make sure that again, we are not going to
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create a strategic setback in the quest for aactical victory or advantage. and if that -- tt'sow we have come at that. we have worked very hard to educate our troopers to train our troopers in the predeployment process during the road to war if you will, the road to deployment. we've incorporated this in our combat training center mission rehearsal exercises, in doctrine, in various tactics, techniques and procedures. we'll continue to do that. we get feedba periodically that troopers feel that are being held back. we don't want that to be the case. that's not the intent. the intent is clearly just to reduce to an absolute minimum the loss of innocent civilian life which in a counterinsurgency operation in particular can unhinge you. >> let me interrupt you, if you would. a vote has just begun in the senate. i would suggest the following. that after senat thune's
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questions that we take a ten-minute recess, that the rest of us that want to -- are able to come back, come -- go vote, come back immediately so that after that ten-minute recess we will have some people here to question you. so there won't be too long a gap. we want the to be about a ten-minute recess. thank you very much. >> general, is there any indication, though, that the taliban are engaging in direct or indirect fire attacks more often and with greater effect now that they know or with this -- that there is potentially a diminished threat from the air? do you see any evidence of that? >> well, first of all, counterinsurgents -- excuse me, first of all, insurgents historically have always tried to use our rules of engagement against us. we know that. they did that in iraq periodically. we had people in iraq literally
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pushing through crowds shooting at us. this happened in this happened in a number of other cases in recent decades as well in these kinds of situations. but, you know, we are about living our values. and every time we have taken expedient measures, not only has it been wrong, we have also paid a price for it in terms of it biting us in the back side in the long run. and so that's, again, we have to be aware that they will use our reluctance to kill innocent civilians or to risk the lives of innocent civilians in the course of these operations. having said that, frankly, they generally are not engaging us directly as much as they are coming at us indirectly. they realize some years ago, certainly last year, that if they engage our troopers in a
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rect firefight that they will lose. and so they are using ieds and much larger numbers than they have in the past. and that's where we see the increase in the violence incidents. >> it's my understanding that b-1 bomber aircraft are being used quite frequently in isr roles rather than in an on-call fire support role. i don't know if you know the answer to this or not, but could you provid us with an idea of how frequently the air force and navy crews are being utilized by ground troops in afghanistan and -- >> well, we do that all the time, senator. b-1 bomb ear we have combat air patrols. so we always have c.a.p.s overafghanistan. while they are waiting to be called on for a bombing mission because that's the only way we can have responsive bombing. we want it to be available within ten minutes is the metric. and i get a -- i review the metrics periodically for
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responsiveness of close air support and also, by the way, for responsivenes of medevac, which is the golden hour. and generally the average on medec responsiveness has been to get from point of injury to the first treatment facility. lately it's in the range of 45 to 50 minutes, which is where we want to keep it. but as they are waiting for missions, we'll use the lightning pod or thether %%pabilities that b-1s, f-16s, fn-18s, whatever aircraft we have. they are very good in this role. we've all used this, frankly. and they are superb in this role. now would rather use unmanned aerial vehicles or something like that which are more persistent, cheaper, greater dwell time and so but we have platforms overhead anyway and so we do put them to use while
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we're waiting t use them in a close air support role if indeed they are used in that role and mission. >> how many manned aircraft are there typically above the air over afghanistan at any moment in time? >> let me provide that to you. we can show you the unmanned as well. it's certainly in the dozens at the very least when you start talking about tankers, command in control aircraft, jammers in some cases in addition to those that are providing on call close air support in a variety of different locations around the country. you g to be in the south and the east and the center or what have you. d then, dozens of unmanned aerial vehicles as well. >> is the number of cats increased? my assumption is that the unmanned or i'm sorry the manned missions over there will reduced, is that a fair statement? >>, no i'm not sure -- let me
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lay that out to you. in fact, we have put more cats, tried to put more cats over as we spread out our forces. so, and, again, they are somewhat different missions. obviously some of our unmanned aerial vehicles are armed, predator and rea pmpper but not rest. so some are doing full motion video or other tasks, not responsive with weapons. the weapons on those that are armed are not as large as those that are carried by say a b-1 or some of the other bombers. >> we do have a vote -- my colleague may want to say something here from florida but a final editorial comment if you will because you've answered this question many times to questions posed by other members of the committee. i share a concern too with
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respect to the date next summer more withdrawal and there was a report last week of a wedding party that the taliban killed 39 people. the taliban executed a 7-year-old child in helman province. there's still a lot of evidence brutality. and the question i guess wou be as a lot of these folks in these areas, critical areas to us, who are cooperating with and helping the government what happens when we leave? and then there was this report yesterday in "the washington post" which is being disputed, denied by the pakistan government, but i want to read you just one paragraph in this news story. u.s. officials say and the were releases of taliban leaders from pakistan that the releases reflected pakistan's strategy of working closely with the united
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states on key fronts while also maintaining relationships with militant groups capable of serving pakistan's interest in afghanistan when u.s. forces are gone. i'm concerned that what -- the notion that we're going to be pulling down here in the not too distant future does shape the relationships not only between the people of afghanistan, and the taliban and the people of afghanistan and our u.s. forces and efforts there, but also the neighbors in the region. and, so, for what that's worth, i would just add that and echo a concern that's been raised by other members of the committee previously. thank you, sir. i guess with that we're on break. so thank you all. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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thank you, mr. chairman, and let me give you -- let me thank all of you in uniform who are dying lee protecting us. general petraeus, one thing that i thought was so important and i
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am happy that we're seeing this happen right now, is the establishment of the benchmarks to be able to judge progress. we achieved the save -- the same goal with iraq, and we are approaching this the same way in afghanistan. two of the major objectives were submitted in the benchmark progress report and the committee in april. we were trying to develop a good afghan security force and a more capable government in afghanistan. i certainly agree that these are critical to our success. but if you were to use the membrane, -- this would measure the current progress, would you take this, with respect to the
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afghan security force, that this is 10% or 20%? and is there some calculation in your mind as to where we are at? some calculation in your mind as and what is the goal? and the same thing is there for the revival government. reliable government. this could apply to the secretary as well. >> with respect to the afghan national security forces, senator, obviously, lots of different types of forces, different rates of progress among them, not only between the different components but also throughout the country to be sure. i think the important point to make is that we've really made progress in getting the inputs right in this area as well in terms of getting the right organization, afghan -- the nato
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training mission, afghanistan and its various component elements and then also adding a recruiting element which was not present before on the police side in particular. then getting the right people in charge of them and general caldwell and his team of all-star coalition and u.s. leaders, i think, is, again, another important step forward. the concept is right. i mentioned, for example with the training of the police that it used to be recruit, assign and train when you get to it. >> ready, fire and aim. >> it's about right. so, and then to have the resources to do it. of course, you all provided at the request of the president, the resources to add an additional 100,000 afghan national security forces by the fall of 2011.
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so, all of those, again, very important and added to that, the additional trainers in terms of resources to where we've been able to go from, again, a 180 training ratio of trainer to trainee to a now 1 to 30 training ratio. addition of trainers while still significant short fall exists, additional troops still need and general mcchrystal is directed to have units partner has made a difference in that regard. you know, if you want to characterize all of that and say, you know, where your in a certain percentage, i don't know that we're at the 50 percentile mark serkcertainly. there has been important progress in this regard. there are some foundations now in which we can build much more effectively than we had been able to in the past.
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but, still at the point of having gotten the inputs right % now to see how the outputs come out, not to say that all that has been done in the past to build institution infrastructure unit trainees and so forth is by any means without enormous value because it is and we went through the same thing like this within iraq as well and you're constantly adjusting and then you have to adjust to the enemy as well. >> on the governance side, again, i can't give you a set percentage, but i can tell the kinds of things we're looking at and trying to measure. one is sort of general sense of the population as to the responsiveness of government to their basic needs and there's everything from polling to participation and council meetings and so forth. at the ministry level we're very focused on making sure that
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ministries can actually receive and disperse monies in an accountable manner and we're in the process of working with the various afghan ministries to actually certify them in terms of financial management and i think we've certified three or four and there are a number -- an additional three or four in the pipeline and we'll keep work through those. looking at their capacity to perform core functions. at the local government level it really has to do with, you know, have we actually created a connection with the local people, is the local government becoming the sort of focal point of community decision making, do they have capacity to actually oversee and execute projects and so forth. there are a number of different metrics we're looking at. as general petraeus has been saying, we're putting a lot of the right inputs in place, a lot of the right foundational pieces and now we'll start measuring progress over time. but it will take some time. >> with respect to the surveys
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of the public -- i don't know why it's doing this -- >> i wonder if somebody could check out the sound system here because we have this hum or feedback. >> in connection with -- in connection with the polling -- [ inaudible ] 2010, 29% of afghans have a good or very good opinion of our staff, in comparison 34% now have a bad or very bad opinion of isap, which is the lowest it's been since the surveys were started in 2008. are there comparable surveys on the support or the attitude of the afghan, their central government and for their local governments?
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>> i can cite at least one that i'm familiar with, sir. i'm sorry. okay. i am -- there is -- i don't think it's on. there is a recent poll that shows about the 59% of the afghan population believes that the combination of the government and isap are moving the country in the right direction. that was an improvement since last fall. we also see a correlation between bringing down -- [ inaudible ] -- support in these areas, but i think we need to get better
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performance because right now we get somewhat contradictory information out of the polls. >> do you have any polling information on your locals versus whether the overall direction of the country is going. >> interestingly, in the south, just recently the poll indicates greater optimism about the future. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the sound i think is now off. i think they are trying to fix it. so we will all have to talk much louder during this interim period. senator graham? >> good morning. nothing wrong with it here. thank you both. general petraeus, what would happen if in the future the taliban took over part or all of
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afghanistan from our national security perspective? what would be the consequence? [ inaudible ] >> some of those will make their way back into afghanistan and enjoy sanctuary as they did prior to 9/11. [ inaudible ] >> on a scale of one to ten, one being not to significant, ten being very significant, what would taliban control of part or all of afghanistan mean to us, national security wise? [ inaudible ] >> closer to ten than one? if we were not there now, what
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would happen? [ inaudible ] >> i think the taliban would take control of certain areas of the country, othersing might evolve into war lordism and you might end up with a couple of different civil wars going on between different ethnic groups, even sectarian groups and some war lords overlayed on top of that. >> this is june 2010, are we winning? >> winning to a counter insurgence is a slow process. we just about got the inputs right in terms of get the organizations in place, the right people in charge of them. the right concepts and the right level of resource to enable
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implementation of those concepts under those leaders in charge of the right organizations. >> what percentage of afghanistan is under central government control? >> what's that, sir. >> what percent of the country, afghanistan, is under central effective government control? >> certainly more, much more than what is not. and, again, we have to talk about how do you want to define central government control. >> mean being an effective police force, a responsible army, a functioning noncorrupt local and national government. >> well, we have a ways to go in that regard, obviously. again, there are areas of the country that have those characteristicut


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